PML-N came into power in Pakistan as a result of General Elections, 2013. Nawaz Sharif – being the Prime Minister of Pakistan – has tried to work for the welfare of general public since the beginning. However, in 2015, these efforts became drastic and significant. It was in 2015 that the government of Pakistan made efforts to bring all the political parties and Army to agree on one agenda. The Government of Pakistan took the strong opposition of Pakistan People’s Party and despite the tension between Federal Government and Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa Government, it made efforts to bring all the stakeholders including Political Parties and Pakistan Army on the same page. Measures were taken to improve infrastructure, health and education. Taking some economy-boosting steps, the Government of Pakistan succeeded in bringing positive changes for its citizens.
A famous Afghan proverb says
The Sun cannot be hidden by two fingers.
In the same way, no matter how much the government of Pakistan is criticized, its achievements specially in the year 2015 cannot be overlooked. Reflecting upon the year 2015 the following 10 measures play a significant role in facilitating general public.
1. METRO BUS SERVICE
The most significant project of all the construction projects by the government of Pakistan is the Metro bus. It was launched first in Lahore and later on inaugurated in Islamabad in the year 2014. The project was completed and made functional in 2015. It has proved to be an epoch-making initiative as it facilitates general public, especially the students. Giving the public transport a new mode, it has helped reducing traffic on the busiest road i-e Murree road. As this is a safety guaranteed bus service, it is thought to be a hindrance in the way of road crimes.
2. PRIME MINISTER’S LAPTOP SCHEME
Government of Pakistan gained popularity among the youth by launching a scheme under which the meritorious university students received laptops as a token of appreciation. This scheme has helped digitize Pakistan and has helped the students who cannot afford the latest gadgets, to take advantage of the advancing technology.
3. FACILITATION OF PUBLIC HEALTH PROJECTS
Government of Pakistan awarded Information Technology University (ITU) with £250,000 grant for a public health project, designed by its Innovations for Poverty Alleviation Lab (IPAL). The project is titled Har Zindagi (Every Life Matters). The Vice Chancellor of ITU had said that the project would help the government increase the number of children immunized against preventable diseases and the quality of vaccination administration. He said under the project that vaccinators would use a smartphone application to store immunization record on a central database maintained at the IPAL. He said that the record would be available to policymakers at all times. Saif said that parents of those immunized would be provided with a redesigned immunization card for their record. Also, satellite imagery would be used to improve vaccination coverage by identifying households not covered in the campaign.
4. CHINA-PAKISTAN ECONOMIC CORRIDOR
One of the greatest projects of the present Government of Pakistan in collaboration with the Government of China is China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. In a Symposium held at Beijing in May, Ambassador of Pakistan to China, Masood Khalid had said that:
The spirit of CPEC is cooperation, not confrontation, a win-win project for everyone in the region and beyond.
He had also said that CPEC would provide alternate livelihood, alleviate poverty and would act as a bulwark against forces of terrorism and violent extremism. It would tap Pakistan’s enormous natural and human resources, address acute energy shortfalls, modernize Pakistan’s transport infrastructure, inject strong impulse for national economic development and help build a knowledge-based egalitarian society; as envisaged by Pakistan’s founding father Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
5. NEW INTERNATIONAL NGO (INGO) POLICY- A POSITIVE STEP
The operations of international non-governmental organizations in Pakistan had been facing a lot of controversy for months. A new policy of regulating INGOs by the government was formed in 2015. This policy is first of its kind. Heather Macey, country coordinator at Pakistan Humanitarian Forum (PHF)- an umbrella organization representing over 50 INGOs expressed her gratitude during a question-answer session with a journalist, saying:
PHF believes the new INGO registration policy is a positive step forward and through swift implementation and processing of registration applications, allows for a transparent and accountable system to facilitate INGOs work in both humanitarian and development efforts, now and in the future.
6. OPERATION ZARB-E-AZB ACHIEVED UNDENIABLE SUCCESSES IN THE YEAR 2015
The law and order situation improved in the country after significant successes achieved by Pakistan military in FATA and on Pak-Afghan border in operation Zarb-e-Azab. As a glorious resolve against terrorists, the Pakistan Army succeeded in restoring peace in Pakistan and bringing back business, education, tourism and other activities to normal. In the aftermath of APS Peshawar school attack, the operation had gained strength. The successes of this operation can be accredited to Government of Pakistan and Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif, who gained popularity due to his efforts for restoring peace in the region. The people of Pakistan had been using the tag #ThanyouRaheelSharif on social media to acknowledge the success of operation Zarb-e-Azab. Internally displaced people were facilitated by the government in every possible way. Thousands of families of IDPS have returned to their homes. Many projects by the government and Army are underway in Waziristan and FATA.
7. KARACHI OPERATION – EXTENSION OF POWERS GIVEN TO RANGERS
In view of the worsening situation of the city, the Government of Pakistan extended the powers of Rangers. Karachi operation proved to be of great significance as it gave similar treatment to miscreants indiscriminately. Crime rate had decreased by a great percentage and people of Karachi had broken the ten-year record of shopping as a result of the restored law and order. Target killing, gadget snatching, bomb blasts, kidnapping came to halt and people of Karachi were grateful as their businesses began to flourish more than ever.
8. PRICE OF OIL AND PETROLEUM PRODUCTS REACHED THE LOWEST LEVEL
In 2015, the prices of Petroleum products were reduced to the lowest level in six years. This step was in huge favor of general public in the ongoing inflation in the country.
9. STEPS TAKEN TO TACKLE INFLATION
Finance Minister, Ishaq Dar, claimed that the prices hikes had declined in the last two years due to government comprehensive policies. These policies provided a certain level of ease to the citizens and allowed them to relax after a prolonged era of inflation in Pakistan.
10. SALARIES OF GOVERNMENT SERVANTS INCREASED BY 10%
This step gave a boost to the efficiency of performance of government servants. Such steps are necessary for maintaining an efficient and productive performance of employees. Moreover, Government doctors who had been protesting since about two years were finally granted an increase in their salaries in the year 2015. This is a positive step towards improving the health care system of Pakistan.
Though there is still much to be done to make Pakistan a developed country, it has already taken the road to success. As someone rightly said, “the journey of a thousand miles begins with a step”. These baby steps will soon turn into toddler steps and In Shaa Allah Pakistan will one day emerge as a developed nation.
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