August 30, 2020

A look at the PTI government's performance during their first two years -- the highs and lows

That the first two years of the PTI government have been challenging in many ways may be the understatement of the year. If the economy was not enough of a headache, there was the accountability process, the Covid-19 pandemic on top of a resource-starved health sector and a barely there social protection network, the single national curriculum and out-of-school children, the pressure of shifting alliances in a fast polarizing world and the urgent need for climate change mitigation. Surprisingly, in presenting a progress report of sorts last week the select ministers and later the many spokespersons for the government and the party, however, sounded upbeat. They reiterated that all they had inherited was complicated problems made virtually intractable by the inept, nay criminally negligent, previous governments. When the PTI trotted out this line after its “first one hundred days” it was accused of not having done its homework. It was perhaps for this reason that this time the emphasis was different. While it still sought to blame its manifest failures on others, it also claimed several achievements. The chaos and confusion, we were told were over, a clear vision was in place, the foundation had been laid and the tide was turning all for the better.

However, the claims have been met with much skepticism. Has the economy really been revived as the government would have us believe or are the stats and indices being interpreted in misleading ways as its detractors insist?

And what of accountability? It has clearly been ruthless and unrelenting as the prime minister had promised but has it also been fair, across the board and productive? Has it made the state more credible with the citizen?

The single national curriculum has been launched with much fanfare but educationists are warning that it may not have been developed in the best way and might not produced the desired results. Also, the resource commitment for the education sector remains dismal.

Has the country finally found the wherewithal and the will to pursue an independent foreign policy in line with its ideals of goodwill towards all and malice towards none? Or has its isolation only increased?

Have the government’s policies and their execution defeated the Covid-19 besides establishing a universal healthcare system or is that a mirage?

Read on.