PESHAWAR: New Government of Pakistan (PML-N) under the leadership of Nawaz Sharif has just completed its tenure of 100 days on (19.09.2013). Before General Election, PML-N made huge claims and promises to the people that they will facilitate poor people of Pakistan by controlling Inflation, by reviving economy, creating job opportunities, by Tax reforms, by overcoming energy crisis, diminish load-shedding by constructing new dams etc.
After 100 days, it seems that the Govt: is yet to facilitate the expectation of people and moreover the International Monetary Fund (IMF) gave Pakistan a sobering assessment, saying its economy was at a high risk of deteriorating into crisis and growth was too slow to significantly improve people's living standards. The Govt: is seems totally fail and not serious in solving these problems.
The opposition leader pointed out that the PML-N previous five-year and present 100-day rule in Pakistan had only worsened the situation of the common man. "The administrative failure has led to increase in crime and other problems in the country”. The government has failed to control prices of eatables items and in this connection no steps are taken. About 62 percent rise in crime rate. A report supported these findings by stating that 62 percent of the people had lost trust in the present government for failing to address issues pertaining to price hike, deteriorating law and order situation and unemployment.
In fact, Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif and Punjab Chief Minister Main Shahbaz Sharif had already completed their homework with farsightedness before coming into power that enabled them to start work on projects from day one for bringing massive reduction in load-shedding and taking on terrorism with discretion and consensus. That is why it did not take the government many days to clear the Rs480 billion circular debt of the power sector besides reviving the badly stalemated Nandipur Hydel Project and accelerating the Neelum Jhelum hydro power project. Both will generate 1300 plus megawatts of electricity. In the latter project, the prime minister personally intervened and passed instructions for immediate initiation of work on the transmission or distribution system that would have otherwise taken additional two, three years after commissioning of the project.
All these efforts might not be clearly visible to some myopic people but the fact is that all the good developments experienced in the last few weeks in the form of APC and power sector reforms, were the outcome of incessant, intelligent work done by PML-N leadership and its team of ministers, experts and other functionaries.
However, the masses as a whole do possess the ability to judge their leaders given their (of the public) much enhanced prudence that was exercised by the general public at the time of election of their representatives. It was this public prudence that brought PML-N into power and it is the same public wisdom that has now adjudged Nawaz Sharif government in the Centre and Shahbaz Sharif government in Punjab as gaining popularity and recognition among their people.
Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency (PILDAT) has drawn a candid picture of political leaders’ popularity among the masses with credible public opinion polls in its Public Verdict (Survey) on Performance of Governance and Democracy in First 100 Days of Federal and Provincial Governments.
Of course, this credibility factor is very important because a number of opinion polls conducted by some other setups have not proved credible in the past but for PILDAT surveys. As a matter of fact, PILDAT surveys are scientific and logical in approach and are conducted in a transparent manner besides being focused on most current and relevant issues about which common people are most of the times concerned.
As for the instant survey, it has been brought to the fore by PILDAT on the International Day of Democracy that is observed every year on September 15.
According to the survey, 62% people have given positive rating to governance by the Federal Government led by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Likewise, according to the public opinion given in the survey, the Punjab government got the best rating out of the four provincial governments while the Sindh government was given the poorest rating. In this survey, citizens from all the provinces voted irrespective of their province of residence. The resultant findings show that 59% voted in favor of Shahbaz Sharif as the best performing Chief Minister, followed by Syed Qaim Ali Shah at 18%, Pervez Khattak at 9% and Dr Abdul Malik at 4%.
Some keen observers opine that Shahbaz Sharif is most popular in Baluchistan although it is usual with the provinces that the most popular heads of governments in their respective areas are their own elected CMs. And in other two provinces, namely Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, chief minister Punjab is a close second choice of public.
Most encouraging aspect of this survey is that the people of Pakistan have demonstrated considerable maturity and understanding of issues including inter-institutional harmony and foreign policy that they think have been excellently handled by PM Nawaz Sharif.
The PILDAT survey says: “The prime minister’s policy of seeking harmony with the armed forces and opposition parties and also with the provincial governments led by the parties that are in opposition at the federal level, has received the highest rate of approval”. The survey adds: “With the change of government on June 5, after the May 11 elections, more people (44%) are optimistic about federal government’s ability to address the current issues.”
In the area of terrorism too, Nawaz government got good performance rating as 46 per cent surveyed people gave fully appreciated its plans and efforts in dealing with the issue of terrorism. And in the electricity sector, 52 per cent gave it positive rating for coping with the electricity shortage.
As for its performance on key foreign policy issues, including relations with the United States, China and India, the government was given 57 per cent positive rating.
The positive performance rating achieved by the Federal Government on the inter-provincial harmony was 59 per cent. It also got 59 per cent positive rating on harmonious relations with the opposition parties in parliament.
For creating harmony with the armed forces, the government achieved 58 percent positive rating. Likewise, 54 percent people gave positive performance rating to the Federal Government in dealing with the problem of corruption.
In all, the people of Pakistan have once again reposed their confidence in the competence and prudent planning and working of Nawaz government in the Centre and Shahbaz government in Punjab. One can only wish that this momentum is maintained in the days to come not only for a limited period of 100 days but throughout the mandated term of the elected government.