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People approve PML-N policies: Gallup survey

14 April, 2014

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PML-N government's overall performance during the last 10 months is 55 percent better than the Pakistan Peoples Party's previous government, Gallup survey report said. The Gallup survey was based on the opinion of general public from urban and rural areas of all the four provinces.

It said that economy, Indo-Pak relationship, foreign policy, corruption, terrorism and a policy to overcome the price hike were priorities of the government. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was declared by the pollster as the most popular political leader of country while other leaders such as Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chairman Imran Khan, PPP Co-Chairman Asif Zardari, Jamiat-e-Ulma e Islam chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman and Awami National Party (ANP) chief Asfandyar Wali Khan were losing their popularity. Gallup survey also claimed that Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif's performance is better than all the other chief ministers of the provinces.

President PML-N Mian Nawaz Sharif seems to have adopted a policy of political realism blended with idealistic moorings. He was averse to any alliance with the MQM and had vowed not to form coalition government with it. Having seen the realpolitik of Asif Ali Zardari, who despite his failings on various counts could manage to get his party sail through the turbulent waters to complete PPP-led government's term.

Asif Ali Zardari had chosen to adopt a policy of political realism or practical politics rather than politics based on moral and ethical concerns. To prove his detractors wrong, Mian Nawaz Sharif had wholeheartedly accepted the Pakistan People's Party-led government after 2008 elections despite his differences with it. He rather paid compliments to the PPP stating it was for the first time that any civil government completed its tenure without the backing of the military. To showcase his sagacity, he had categorically stated in 2012 ahead of 2013 elections that he was not against the army; instead he opposed some of its generals that violated the constitution.

It was a paradigm shift in PML-N's stance; and he shunned the confrontational mode as he had the experience of those who used to provoke Mian Nawaz Sharif and advised him 'to fix up some generals', later enjoyed power by joining General Musharraf's bandwagon. Others had gone into hibernation to become active after Mian sahib's return to Pakistan. Unfortunately, our political parties and leaders have been accusing each other of corruption and for supporting the military dictators in the past. The fact remains that conflict between the political parties, intolerance and deep-rooted hatred among politicians in the past provided opportunity to the Generals to intervene. After 1958, once again in 1977 it was conglomeration of political parties that had started agitation against Bhutto government on the plea that it had rigged elections. A leader of the Pakistan National Alliance (PNA) had written to the then COAS to rid the nation of the PPP government.

Pakistan had terrible leadership at the helm especially during the five years of PPP-led government. Barring a few honourable exceptions, the profligacy, loot and plunder and corruption of the rulers in general and politics of power and pelf in particular during sixty seven years have brought the country to brink of disaster. After May elections, PML-N's government is at the helm and is trying to find out the ways to reverse the decay. The economy is in dire straits; corruption is rampant not at the top level now, but at lower levels; terrorism is stalking the entire land; and ethnic violence has added a sense of insecurity in the people. Of course, we need new laws against organized crime, insurgency and unbridled sectarianism. PML-N has taken the initiative and prepared Pakistan Protection Bill which has been passed by the National Assembly because PML-N has simple majority. However, it seems impossible to get it through the Senate. Other political parties should help the government and get the bill passed from the Senate. It is imperative to have a policy of zero-tolerance and its strong implementation to establish the writ of the state.

Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has many a time stated that the dream of economic progress could not be realized without maintaining peace in the society, as Pakistan is passing through a critical phase. He has been reiterating his stance that the menace of terrorism will have to be rooted out for progress and development of the country. Sindh and Balochistan governments also face almost identical problems faced by other provinces. As for one, the ruinous energy crisis, without resolving which the revival of sagging national economy would remain just a pipedream, and all plans for creating job opportunities, alleviation of poverty and promoting national progress and prosperity would fall apart. Similarly, the law and order situation is dismal all over the country, as is the infrastructure for public convenience. Anyhow, people have given them the mandate and now they expect from them to work out their governance priorities meticulously. They all must understand that non-performance or inaction is just no option at all in the given conditions.

The electorate had made it more than evident that it would not accept official insouciance, inaction, incompetence and graft. They expect from the government to perform and deliver. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is a man of substance and enjoys good reputation; he should himself oversee the process of privatisation and should not leave it to the Planning or Water and Power ministries.

The new government cannot afford any scams. Of course, the country is confronted with a myriad of problems, all complex and gigantic not within the easy human grasp to tackle, so they will have to fix their priorities as to what to take up first and then set out earnestly to pursue those priorities vigorously. Improving law and order and overcoming energy crisis are must for revival of sagging national economy, which will help create job opportunities. Mian Nawaz Sharif is alive to the situation, and on his instructions the government is taking measures to solve these problems.

End.

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