- Corona panddemic maangement
- Health Card
- Naya Pakistan Housing scheme(Apna ghar loan)
- Billion tree Project
- Ehsaas Programme and shelters
- Political affairs
- Foreign policy
Imran Khan, the 22nd Prime Minister of Pakistan, is the first Prime Minister in the history of the country against whom a no-confidence motion in the National Assembly has been successful.
Between 11pm and 12am on the night of April 9, Asad Qaiser resigned, handed over the proceedings to Ayaz Sadiq, voting on no confidence was done. Shortly after midnight, Imran Khan was no longer the Prime Minister.
When PTI Chairman Imran Khan was sworn in as the 22nd Prime Minister of Pakistan in August 2018, on that day it was probably not in anyone’s imagination that almost three and a half years later in the same House with the help of the votes of the people who voted for hm to come in power will join hands with the opposition for a no-confidence motion against him and the Prime Minister will take steps to overthrow his own government.
At that time, a large number of the people of Pakistan were hoping that after becoming the Prime Minister, Imran Khan would put into practice his various promises and claims including eradication of corruption from Pakistan, accountability and repatriation of corruption money from abroad the reduction in external debt, institutional reform, especially in the police, the establishment of a university in the Prime Minister’s House, South Punjab province, 10 million jobs, five million houses, as well as the beginning of a new chapter of economic development in the country.
All these promises could not be fulfilled and Imran Khan himself and his federal ministers also admitted many times that all the promises before the election could not be fulfilled for which various reasons were also told. But what was the tenure of Imran Khan as the Prime Minister and for what reasons will it be remembered?
Corona pandemic, government strategy and impact on the economy
The Corona epidemic has gripped Pakistan as well as the rest of the world, raising the question of what could be the best way to deal with the epidemic. Initially, Pakistan took the path of lockdown but due to the challenges facing the economy, instead of prolonged lockdown, it gradually adopted a strategy of opening different sectors with precautionary measures.
How effective was the Smart Lockdown strategy and what were the reasons for the relatively low incidence of Corona epidemic in Pakistan? A detailed answer to this question may be found only after research, but the potential risks to Pakistan’s shrinking economy were not only averted but also benefited by this policy.
On the one hand, when the supply chain of textile exports was disrupted in India and Bangladesh due to lockdowns, then foreign buyers turned to Pakistan.
According to journalist Tanveer Malik, due to high export orders received by Pakistan, the country’s textile exports exceeded 4. 4.5 billion in 2012 . Thanks to this strategy, the country’s total exports increased and on the other hand, it also helped in creating jobs.
According to journalist Tanveer Malik, people in the export sector say that the government has given a lot of support to the sector, such as providing relief to the export sector in energy prices, as well as expanding and innovating the export sector at low interest rates. Loans were also provided by the Central Bank for
Compared to India, the number of cases and deaths in Pakistan has been lower. According to the Corona Virus World Meter website, there were 1.5 million cases and 30,000 deaths in Pakistan as compared to 40 million cases in India and 1.5 million deaths.
Former Special Assistant for Health Dr Zafar Mirza, who was part of the PTI government, told the BBC that the response to Corona was a success, mainly because the epidemic in Pakistan was not as dangerous as in Europe or the United States.
He attributed the success to co-operation between the institutions as well as better liaison between the federal and provincial governments.
According to Dr Zafar Mirza, the WHO also said that seven countries had done a great job in controlling the epidemic, of which Pakistan was second. The role of the Prime Minister was important because he was of the view that we could not afford a major lockdown, and that a system should be created so that the poor could be employed and the epidemic could be controlled. The practice was successful.
According to Dr Zafar Mirza, “there was an emergency response against Corona, despite the fact that Pakistan’s health system was not strong”. He said that if the country was to be prepared for the future, it would have to invest in the health system.
The PTI launched the Health Card in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in 2016 during the previous regime, which announced the provision of free healthcare to citizens who often do not visit hospitals due to financial constraints.
After becoming the Prime Minister of Pakistan, the project was further expanded and Imran Khan announced to provide health cards to 80 million citizens .
According to the PTI government, the following facilities are available to the public through this scheme:
Cardholders will get treatment facility up to Rs. 720,000 per annum.
Free healthcare facilities will be provided to 15 million families or 80 million citizens.
Free treatment of other diseases including angioplasty, brain surgery and cancer.
Free treatment in public and private hospitals.
He will be treated at more than 150 hospitals across the country.
Former Special Assistant to the Prime Minister for Health Dr Zafar Mirza told the BBC that the health card is a great program especially for the poor who need financial protection.
But according to Dr Zafar Mirza, the decision to introduce health cards on a large scale will have far-reaching negative consequences.
“There are reservations about this card being spread so quickly that it looks good but it will have far-reaching negative effects because it will make a difference to those who deserve it.” There are indications that the pressure on hospitals has increased and that it would be a challenge to provide as much money as needed for this program, so it would be better to limit it to those who are entitled to it.
Prime Minister Imran Khan has announced to build 5 million new houses in the country for the low-income class
The ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief and Prime Minister Imran Khan had promised cheap housing for the low-income class before coming to power.
A separate ‘New Pakistan Housing Authority’ was set up for this project and in the initial phase construction of houses in seven cities was started.
The government has also encouraged banks to provide loans on easy terms under the Asan Ghar scheme, which includes loans ranging from Rs 2 million to Rs 10 million for different periods.
At the same time, the government introduced two amnesty schemes for the construction sector, through which the construction sector could be promoted and jobs could be created in the country along with the construction of houses.
Former chairman Arif Jiva told that for the first time in the history of Pakistan, a package was given to the construction sector which benefited the construction industry. “The number of projects started in the last two years is unprecedented in the history of Pakistan, especially in Islamabad and Lahore.”
But he said that due to the economic condition of the country, the banks could not provide finance to the common man in the way it should have.
According to Arif Jiva, “After the Corona wave, other commodities, including steel and cement, became more expensive and construction costs increased from 70% to 80% while the purchasing power of the common man decreased. According to him, on the other hand, Pakistanis abroad have invested heavily in the construction industry, one of the reasons being the government’s scheme, according to which the source of investment was not asked. It also created jobs and consumed marketing and finance. But he said that matters have been stalled for the last eight to ten months and it remains to be seen what the next government will do.
Billion Tree Project
The Billion Tree Tsunami, or tree planting of one billion trees, was started by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government in 2014. One billion trees were planted on 35,000 hectares of forest and barren lands .
After assuming power in 2018, Prime Minister Imran Khan expanded the project and announced the planting of 10 billion trees, which was well-received internationally.
Institutions such as the United Nations and the World Economic Forum have praised Pakistan’s plan, and countries such as South Africa, Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia have announced plans to launch similar projects in their countries.
According to journalist Shabina Faraz, environmentalist and botanist Rafi-ul-Haq says: There will be global pressure to complete the project and it will not be possible for any government to abandon or ignore the project due to climate change.
Ehsaas programs and shelters
In connection with measures for poverty alleviation, the Prime Minister announced 115 policy plans under the ‘Ehsas Program’ through a 31-point agenda.
These projects included an important project of Shelter Shelter Homes along with Assets, Interest Free Loans and Skills Program under which ‘Shelter for the helpless and poor’ in the Federal Capital Territory, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and a few cities in Punjab Province was launched.
In addition to accommodation in these shelters, three meals a day are also being provided free of cost.
Abid Hussain, Federal Minister Murad Saeed described the Prime Minister’s ‘shelter’ program as the government’s biggest achievement at the end of the first year.
At the time, he said, “When our government took over the responsibility, we were trying to build Pakistan in the style of the state of Madinah. The program aims to provide shelter to the poor so that no one sleeps under the open sky.
At the same time, the Income Support Program for Women includes financial assistance in the name of bank accounts, issuance of ration cards and protection to the poor and needy under the ‘Kafalat’ program.
Accountability was an important part of the PTI’s election campaign before the 2018 general elections. In his first address to the National Assembly after coming to power, Prime Minister Imran Khan also announced that those who looted the country’s wealth would be held accountable. But the process seemed controversial and political. When a series of arrests and cases began, the opposition retaliated, but the cases as a whole did not reach a logical conclusion.
Prime Minister Imran Khan himself admitted the failure of the accountability process. We tried hard but the NAB and the courts were not under our control,” he told government members at a dinner on April 2”.
arlier, in a private TV interview on April 1, he said, “They (the opposition) did not allow the case to be completed, never appeared before the court, sometimes they made excuse off back pain. The most painful thing for me was that the accountability process was dismantled, they were saved, under deals. I know their cases were deliberately delayed. All I know is, we were sitting helpless. Now I will ask the people to give me an overwhelming majority because we have to compromise with the weak majority. ‘
On the other hand, the Leader of the Opposition Shahbaz Sharif also said in a press conference on April 1 that the accountability of the government was a fraud, the worst revenge. Name one case of NAB which has reached logical conclusion. Commissions were formed against us, where are their results, they went against us in London and I don’t know where they went but they got nothing.
The opposition leader alleged that there were scandals of billions of rupees in sugar, wheat, medicine and gas during this government, where did they go.
Journalist Arif Noor said that the PTI government had failed miserably on the accountability front but it was expected to. He said that those who have closely watched the accountability process in the past know that accountability has been used as a political weapon and the era of PTI was no different.
Analyst Musharraf Zaidi added that the most important thing in terms of accountability was that there was no reduction in corruption in the country. Referring to the few crises that came to the fore during the tenure of the government, he said that no action could be taken against those involved in the sugar or wheat scandal.
Journalist Fahad Hussain said that whatever Imran Khan’s statement was before the election, after coming to power, it was necessary to establish at least a basic working relationship with the opposition, by lowering the political temperature as state matters could be run. “It could give the government a chance to work on its original agenda, but it diverts its attention from governance and delivery, and pursued the wrong direction, which has its consequences.”
The biggest challenge for the government of Prime Minister Imran Khan was the economic front and he claimed that he would turn the country’s economy around, won’t go to the IMF, reduce debt, end inflation. But these were tough claims.
During his tenure, there were many economic challenges ranging from a record decline in the value of the Pakistani rupee, to inflation to the increase in the volume of loans, during which the finance minister changed three times.
According to Prime Minister Imran Khan, the economic situation had improved but then the Corona epidemic broke out and global inflation rose.
In a private TV interview on April 1, the Prime Minister defended the government’s economic policy, saying, “Inflation is a global problem. What will Shahbaz Sharif do of this? We are selling the cheapest petrol in the whole region; we have collected record taxes. The highest exports and remittances came in our time.
On the other hand, the government also claimed that record jobs were created during its tenure. The Labor Force Survey of the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics claims that 5.5 million jobs were created in the last three years, ie 1.8 million jobs were created every year.
But speaking to journalist Tanveer Malik, Dr Hafeez Pasha, a former federal finance minister of Pakistan, dismissed the claim, saying: those claims may only be for political favor this time has nothing to do with facts .
“Just as the government is projecting higher economic growth rates and lowering inflation, so too is the government using the creation of more jobs to its advantage,” he said.
Dr Qaisar Bengali dismissed the government’s perception that the economic indicators had improved.
He said that the economic policies of the PTI government were suffering from overall administrative failure and incompetence. The basic economic indicators are the same as they have been for forty years, they have not improved.”
Citing administrative failure, he said, “When demand was to increase, it was said that cargo from outside was not coming, which exacerbated the crisis.”
“It is not that the situation was very good in any previous government, whether it was the current account deficit or the volume of loans, but things went from bad to worse under this government,” he said.
The government also claimed that record jobs were created during its tenure
On the issue of loans, he said that the PTI had borrowed more than any previous government. It simply came to our notice then, because we need more money to repay the debts already incurred and the next government will have to borrow even more because it seems that it has been decided that Debts will run the country.
Failure to keep allies in a weak government, election of Usman Bozdar as Chief Minister in Punjab, resentment of Jahangir Tareen and Aleem Khan, internal disagreements between cabinet and federal ministers are some of the issues that could cause problems for Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government.
Journalist Fahad Hussain, speaking about the political failures of Prime Minister Imran Khan and the PTI, said: everyone in the PTI knew that the relationship with the Establishment was the most important one but they could not fix that one relationship.
He said that the second major issue was to bad ties with the opposition and the third issue was the deployment of Usman Bazdar in Punjab.
It is to be noted that Chaudhry Sarwar, who was the Governor of Punjab during the PTI era, also accused Usman Bazdar of being appointed as the Chief Minister, alleging corruption after he was removed from office by the government on Sunday.
According to Fahad Hussain, a major reason for the PTI’s failure was the selection of the team. He said that the Prime Minister’s Cabinet was probably the weakest cabinet ever in which most of the ministers except a few like Dr. Faisal Sultan and Sania Nishtar were not qualified for the job assigned to them.
According to him, the perception of poor performance of PTI was also strengthened by spokespersons who focused on the opposition instead of showing performance of the government.
Former Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Dr Zafar Mirza, who was part of the Prime Minister’s team, told that “the Prime Minister’s priorities were right.”
The problem was that he (the Prime Minister) did not have enough margin to do everything, partly because of his weak majority. When you are not politically strong you have to compromise. He also appeared in the formation of the compromised cabinet. There were allies in this team and of course there were problems. The team could have been better, of course, but the reasons are connected to the majority, because you have to adjust people, even if you don’t want to.
Prime Minister Imran Khan’s tenure began with his announcement in which he reaffirmed his commitment to establish good relations with all countries, including India and the United States. But at the end of his rule, Pakistan’s politics resonated with accusations of conspiracy to overthrow the United States.
At the beginning of the PTI regime, Imran Khan performed well on the foreign front. Whether the visit of Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman & the Prime Minister of Malaysia Dr. Mahathir to Pakistan in early 2019 or the visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan to the United States in the same year, And the offer of US mediation on the Kashmir issue in the meeting of US President Donald Trump, Pakistan also played an important role in the US withdrawal efforts in Afghanistan.
But on the other hand, before Narendra Modi was elected Prime Minister in relations with India, the Prime Minister’s hopes were dashed after the abolition of Kashmir’s special status. The cold snap between the two countries turned into regular tensions after Pakistan’s response to the Pulwama attack and the Balakot air strike and the crash of the Indian plane, which did not change much.
On the foreign front, the opposition also accused the government of straining relations with China, Saudi Arabia and the United States.
While issue of Joe Biden’s not calling Prime Minister Imran Khan after he was elected President raised, on the other hand, the Prime Minister’s accusation of conspiracy to overthrow his government on the United States sealed the deterioration of relations.
Analyst Musharraf Zaidi, speaking, said that the foreign policy of the state of Pakistan was the same in the Imran Khan era as it was in the previous era, ie to have the best relations in the interest of Pakistan and to keep a balance between them. That is, maintaining closer ties with China, better relations with the United States, and better bilateral relations with Russia.
Musharraf Zaidi said that despite this, the statements of the ministers during the PTI government must have made matters worse. Citing the Prime Minister’s Adviser Razzaq Dawood’s controversial statement on China and CPEC or Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s statement on Saudi Arabia, he said that such statements were made by government ministers affected the relationship.
Media and restrictions
The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government has been controversial in the media. Sometimes lists of unpopular journalists appeared on social media, sometimes allegations of online trolling were leveled against journalists. Attempts were also made to introduce laws during the PTI era, including protests against freedom of expression, which were protested by local and international journalists’ organizations.
Journalist Amber Shamsi is the director of the Center for Excellence in Journalism at the Institute of Business Administration (IBA) Karachi said that the restrictions imposed on the media during the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) were more severe than those of any previous government, including Pervez Musharraf, and that international organizations that monitor media freedom It was also said that freedom of press in Pakistan is in decline.
Anbar Shamsi said: “There are a number of reasons why the interviews of several opposition leaders were banned directly by the regulatory authority in the first two years, whether it was an interview with Asif Zardari or Maryam Nawaz, although there was no constitution or law. He says no convicted person can be interviewed.
“During the same period, it was observed that some journalists who were considered critics of the government were gradually removed from the media, including big names like Hamid Mir and Talat,” he said. “I was a victim myself.”
Anbar Shamsi said, “Apart from this, there were cases of violence against journalists, for example Matiullah Jan, Absar Alam, Asad Ali, where there was CCTV footage against the accused but cases have not been settled.
Attempts were made to ban or control social media, to establish a regulatory authority, which was opposed and was not allowed to succeed. ‘
“Despite the fact that Prime Minister Imran Khan has repeatedly said that the media in Pakistan is more independent than in the United Kingdom, there have been instances in his time that have not been so,” he said.