PM Nawaz received 62 per cent approval of the masses across the country for his government’s performance during the first 100 days, a survey conducted by PILDAT revealed Sunday.
The poll is considered an initial performance tracker regarding governance by the federal government led by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif of Pakistan Muslim League-N as well as performance of ‘democracy’ in its various forms and expressions.
Sharif’s policy of seeking harmony within the state institutions and provincial governments was given the highest rate of approval. His reaching out on the key foreign policy issues also received popular approval.
The survey was released on September 16 which is the “International Day of Democracy”.
According to the survey, 46 per cent people gave good performance rating to Nawaz government in dealing with the issue of terrorism, while 52 per cent gave it positive rating to cope with the electricity shortage.
About performance on key foreign policy issues, including relations with the United States, China and India, the N government was given 57 per cent positive rating.
The positive performance rating achieved by the Nawaz 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 the parliament.
For creating harmony with the armed forces, the N government achieved 58 per cent positive rating. Likewise, 54 per cent people gave positive performance rating to the government at center in dealing with the problem of corruption.
In the last week of August, I listed out some key factors that appeared to be going in favor of N government’s performance indicator so far. These factors appear to compliment findings of PILDAT survey.
Some of these I considered politically mature, statesmanship-like and synergistic :
1. Letting PTI rule KP and NPP rule Balochistan.
2. Appointing a harmonious, go getter team of cabinet members and Ministers.
3. Stopping extravaganzas and showing offs which was the symbol of past govt.
4. Neutralizing MQM politically; Selecting Mamnoon from Karachi for Presidential slot.
5. Visits to China and then Saudi Arabia to establish the point that Pakistan wanted regional solutions not international big game.
6. N’s peace overtures towards India on the belief that ‘you can change friends and enemies but not neighbors’.
7. Maintaining good relationship with the military and respecting decisions of the judiciary while ignoring media criticisms — all 3 key players in the state of Pakistan now.
8. Taking terror issue as a menace to economy and announcing formation of highest level-based command and control authority forum
9. No trace of corruption being used as instrument to govern and appease players.
10. Telling US bluntly to stop the drones in exchange for facilitating peaceful withdrawal by bringing Taliban to the table.
11. No political hand outs or compromises seem to have been made so far.
12. No policy of revenge or reactionary moves detected. N team appears serious, mature and taking steps as serious business. Ministers do not appear on daily talk shows.
13. In short, politics based on statesmanship and nationalistic fervor is being conducted.
1. Jump start of Gwadar to China economic corridor that will change the destiny of the nation as a whole as it will pass through all the 4 provinces bringing all the ethnics groups together on the dining table to eat the fruits of its benefits.
2. Gadani power plant park: Excellent move to join hands with China and Balochistan and Punjab as equity partners, and with Sindh supplying the coal and equity partner too.
3. Borrowing money from IMF instead of begging for grants in exchange for political favors to appease international players active in the region.
4. Announcing that load shedding will not end so soon, and backing it up with announcing measures to increase power output. Reaching out to India and Iran to purchase power.
5. Pursuing Iran-Pak pipeline by bringing China into the game to offset US pressure.
6. Announcing motorway from Karachi to Lahore and Subway in Karachi and Lahore.
7. Steps to achieve 100% education in Punjab and bringing Sarwar from UK to serve as Governor of the largest province. It appears to have also checkmated PTI’s popularity in UK and Punjab simultaneously.
Notwithstanding the correlation between my observations and the nation’s observations as surveyed by PILDAT, it must be noted that the Western media has not done any adverse reporting on N-government’s governance, performance, corruption if any, etc.
Worsening economy coupled with terrorism and sectarianism however remain the focus of the national and the Western media understandably.
Implicit in the PILDAT survey results and my observations is the general opinion that the nation fully understands N government’s predicament and the mess it is trying to tackle, and that it is willing to go along as long as corruption, extravagant spendings, favoritism, loot and plunder, cronyism, disregard for rule of law, provincialism, etc., which unfortunately became the hallmark of Zardari’s government, are checkmated, if not fully eliminated during its five year governance.