In politics, the real match starts after victory. This means that Pakistan’s new government,headed by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), will need to deal with a slew of challenges smartly. The following five will test its mettle and capacity unlike anything the party has encountered thus far. First, it is wrong to say that Pakistan has never had lasting,productive civil-military relations since its inception. The science of successfully running a nation-state requires competent rule from civilians. This rule of thumb is gleaned from the historical experience of the management of states since the beginning of the global era of the modern states, following the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648. As long as Pakistanis remain stuck on fixing the blame rather than fixing the problem, harmonious civil-military relations will remain elusive. The new government will quickly need to find a modus vivendi that allows the focus to be on mutual cooperation rather than internecine interference underwritten by rule of law. Second, intimately connected with the challenge of building civil-military cooperation is that of economic growth. The country has been waiting since 1947 for an economic miracle. The need of the hour is not to score constitutional brownie points on who enjoys precedence over whom but for the new government to work ceaselessly to ensure a national socioeconomic transformation. The modest economic target should be to double the GDP till 2023 which means that the GDP must grow to $600-650 billion by the end of the next five years. The ambitious goal should be to triple the GDP by 2025 which means that concerted efforts should be made to ensure the GDP is around $900 billion by that time. If the new government succeeds in achieving the modest GDP growth target, it shall find itself in a very strong and respectable position in the hierarchy of spheres. If it succeeds in meeting the ambitious GDP target, it may at last find the supremacy that all Pakistani civilian governments have always hankered after, but none have ever worked wisely and indefatigably for. Meeting the modest target and pushing ourselves to score the ambitious one is also a sure-fire way of defeating domestic and regional threats.However, if the next five years are lost in political fighting, Pakistan may permanently be left behind in the regional race for development. Pakistan’s looming failure as a country will perhaps be the biggest challenge confronting the new government. This is the challenge that all previous governments have only aggravated Third, related to the challenge of economic transformation is the challenge of compressing work and leisure times. The new government will need to achieve more with less. This can be done by doing more in less time turning 24 hours of a day into working hours seven days a week by introducing the system of three daily shifts of 8 hours each in all walks of national life. This is possible keeping in view our demographic dividend.Backed by a solid, well-conceived, and multi-stakeholder national development plan, this is the only way to make up leeway and pick up the slack. This is the real meaning of Quaid-e-Azam’s advice to “work, work and only work”. Fourth, the next five years will coincide with the challenge of the development of the second phase of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which, according to the China-Pakistan Long-Term Plan for CPEC, is supposed to consist of the: near-completion of the national “industrial system”; coordinated development and activation of “major economic functions”; major improvement in “people’s livelihood along the CPEC”; balanced “regional economic development”; and the realisation of “all the goals of Vision 2025”. This is a long and gruelling schedule of national deliverables which will not be fulfilled unless institutional harmony, political stability, interprovincial coordination, engagement of population, public-private collaboration, and time compression strategies are in place. Fifth, Pakistan’s looming failure as a country will perhaps be the biggest challenge confronting the new government. This is the challenge that all previous governments have only aggravated. Civilisation, in the last analysis, is the art of building and living in towns and cities.Pakistanis are failing terribly at this art. Instead of places where people can flourish in prosperity, health, contentment, and virtue, our cities are fast becoming urban wastelands where deprivation, disease, misery, and vice have begun to run wild. This civilizational failure of Pakistan is based on abysmal people-to-people interaction, rent-seeking state-society relations, and exploitive society-nature relationship. According to a 2011 McKinsey report on the future global urban growth, by 2025 600 cities will have 2 billion inhabitants or 25 percent of the world’s population, generate $64 trillion or about 65 percent of global GDP, and contain 735 million households with an average per capita GDP of $32,000 of which 235 million households will live in cities in the developing world with annual income of more than $20,000. The new government will need to plan for positioning Pakistani cities to become engines of growth rather than juggernauts of arrested development. How the new government will set about meeting these five big challenges with focus and consistency in the currently charged atmosphere of sharp political and institutional polarization is hard to say. Without social stability that is itself predicated on political stability, national development seems likely to become imprisoned in the Sisyphean roll of political conflict. The writer is a policy analyst based at NUST and can be reached at email@example.com Published in Daily Times, July 29th 2018.