Prior to his election as Prime Minister of Pakistan in July 2018, Imran Khan was accused by his rivals of being strong on rhetoric and short on genuine policies or answers to the country’s many problems.
His response was to promise that in its first three months in power his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party (PTI) would be transformational. It would take steps to clean up the police and judiciary, end political corruption and ensure fairness and justice for all. It would reverse the fiscal mismanagement of previous administrations, bring inflation under control and revitalise the ailing Pakistani economy with a job creation scheme designed to provide new employment for 10 million people. At the same time a bold programme to build five million new homes would also get underway. Pakistan would also reset troubled relations with India and the US, embellish friendships with China and Saudi Arabia and, crucially, break its addiction to hand-outs from the West. No longer would this proud nation have to go begging to the IMF for funds; instead Khan’s government would recoup billions of dollars hidden from the taxman abroad…
There was much else besides and his supporters lapped it all up, but in reality, as the former cricketing superstar turned politician surely knew, delivering on such ambitious campaign pledges once in office was always going to be harder than it looked. Many complex fault lines run through Pakistani society and it would be challenging dealing with the dynastic political and military elites who have long kept a stranglehold on the country’s affairs.
So what progress is he making?
We asked Pakistani journalist Amber Rahim Shamsi to weigh up the successes and failures of Imran Khan’s first 100 days in office.
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