Why govts don’t live up to their promises?

Why govts don’t live up to their promises?


“Poor governance has shaken people’s confidence in political parties”

Why govts don’t live up to their promises?

Sehar Kamran, PPP leader

Democracy is still a new and evolving process in Pakistan. Even though the political parties in the country have existed even before independence, they have not been allowed to operate independently, for a variety of reasons. In addition, the constant discontinuation of the democratic process over the decades has inadvertently added to the woes of political parties and their lack of governing experience and delivering to the people.

Governance or its lack of has affected people’s confidence in political parties. The common people want results. They want their daily life problems to be resolved in the shortest time possible. When political parties win elections and have no prior experience of governing, as seen in the case of the current ruling government, then chaos ensues. That is why it is important to strengthen and empower the local body government system. If an individual comes to power from the grassroots, they have ample experience to tackle the massive challenges of governance.

When in power, the political parties usually adopt short-term policies to appease their voter-base and forgo the much needed infrastructural reforms because they take time. As a result, the socioeconomic situation improves for the time-being but bigger hurdles arise for the future. It also creates a feeling of mistrust among the public because they believe that political parties are opportunistic and only care for the next election rather than the next generation.

It is also important to note that unfortunately there is a lack of policy continuation when democratic transitions take place. The new government deems the projects and policies of the previous government as useless, and starts formatting and implementing their own. As a result, people rarely get to reap any long-term benefits of good policies.


The lack of transparent democratic structures and the perceived nepotistic practices inside the political parties has haunted the political parties, and has been one of the biggest impediments in their public perception. We have seen that infighting ensues inside political parties because of this reason, and they become busy with firefighting inside their own ranks, instead of focusing on governance.

Political parties in Pakistan are one of the most demonized entities and are easy to target. The sword of an in-house change or removal from power is always hanging on their heads. I would like to believe that if political parties are given a free hand in governance, we might see better results. If these swords are not hanging on the head of political parties and they are given the  free hand in implementing their game plan to address the issues of common people and their mandate is respected by all the institutions it is likely that they will be able to deliver and live upto the expectations of masses.



“PML-N, for example, has always delivered on its promises”

Hina Parvez Butt, PML-n leader



How political parties deliver on their promises when they come to power is the one true litmus test of their credibility. And while coming up short is often due to irrational exuberance on the part of certain parties, it would be very wrong to assume that it is true for all parties.

PML-N, for example, has always delivered on its promises. Let’s not forget that it was during the PML-N government that the state finally took the bull of terrorism by the horns and put it to rest once and for all. It was also in PML-N’s time that the menace of load shedding was reduced to such a large extent that in most parts of the country the problem finished by 2017-18.

It was also PML-N’s government that erected infrastructure up and down the country like never before. And it was at the same time that the game-changing CPEC (China Pakistan Economic Corridor) was initiated.

The perception of political parties not delivering on their commitments and claims has grown over the last few years because of the poor performance of the PTI government. Whether it was providing millions of jobs, creating millions of houses, not announcing amnesty schemes and canceling previous ones, never going to the IMF, privatizing loss-making SOEs (state owned enterprises), or announcing a mini-budget after promising not to, this party has made something of a compulsive habit of going back on its word.

And this is going to have a very bad effect all across the political spectrum because when people are deceived in this way for an entire electoral cycle, they tend to lose trust in politicians as a whole. And the country suffers even more because people tend to be overcome by a sort of paralysis that affects their judgement when it comes time to cast their votes as well.


In politics it is far more important than other fields to be very sure about the kind of claims one makes, especially when one is the leader of a very large party with a country-wide footprint. PTI’s tenure has been a very steep learning curve for the entire nation about what kind of leaders and just what kind of promises to take seriously.

All sorts of economic indicators – inflation, growth, current account, trade balance, etc – have turned for the worse in the last three year or so. The rupee, especially, has been beaten to death and the people have yet to realize that every additional point of depreciation inflates the foreign debt quantum as well as the import bill, which means that ordinary Pakistanis would have to pay for both things at the end of the day.

Initially the PTI government thought it was smart politics to blame everything on previous administrations. When people stopped buying this weak argument, it tried to turn everybody’s attention to international commodity prices. But people don’t accept this claim either because it does not explain why inflation was very high even when commodity prices were soft before the pandemic and is still much higher than other countries in the region. The people know these things.


“Imran Khan has solid credentials and the ability to call a spade a spade”

Momina Basit, PTI leader


It true that the two major political parties of the country Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) have failed to address the issues faced by common Pakistanis despite the fact that both of these parties were elected by the poor masses at least three times each. The masses were sick and tired of these political parties who failed to deliver and their rule has witnessed rampant corruption in each and every public sphere due to which democratic setup in the country somewhat started becoming unpopular which was quite alarming for the proponents of democracy in the country. This is where the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) stepped in as the third political force being headed by a national hero Imran Khan, whose solid credentials and ability to call a spade a spade and his vision convinced the masses that he is the right person for the job and they elected him to power.

The Movement for Justice or Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), was envisaged as a movement to fight for a just and equitable society based on the guidelines that Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) laid down in the Medina Charter which were the foundations of the model Islamic state, an egalitarian society based on the rule of law and economic justice and thus being the first welfare state in the history of mankind.

It is these principles of justice and egalitarianism that Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah envisaged for Pakistan and it is these principles which are the foundation of PTI. For PTI, it is not just “politics”: it is a commitment to building a welfare state where the rule of law, meritocracy and transparency are guaranteed to all citizens – where a social welfare safety net is provided to the marginalized and the elderly. A just order is the foundation for creating a nation where equal opportunity exists for all citizens in all fields – from health to education to security of life and property. Justice ensures women, minorities, the poor, the differently-abled, the dispossessed and disadvantaged are not exploited by the powerful or discriminated against. The performance of PTI could be better understood if we split it into two periods namely 2018-19 and 2020-21.

The PTI had a plan after coming to power as per our leader Imran Khan’s vision but unfortunately, the economy was hit by global pandemic Covid-19 which played havoc even with the leading economies of the world, it was unexpected and slowed down the implementation of our plans. The pandemic slowed down the economic activity globally and Pakistan was no exception. The need now is that we need to energize our efforts to attain the vision of PM and come up with more welfare projects like health cards, clean drinking water, green line and other projects which could improve the life of common people. I am sure by the end of our term in 2023 we would be on the right track towards the construction of a Naya Pakistan built on Iqbal’s dream and Jinnah’s vision – encapsulated in an Islamic Welfare State.

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