The initial euphoria following Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) victory has now subsided somewhat. The general public — much of which was expecting Khan to wave a magic wand and fix the chronic problems facing the country instantly — have gotten a reality check. Welcome to state craft 101, where rhetoric doesn’t necessarily translate into policy and governance. Imran Khan also didn’t help the cause with his rhetoric and populist agenda. Some people were actually expecting bulldozers to move in and demolish the walls of the mighty Governor House in Karachi, with citizens streaming to loot at their pleasure. Expectations are so high, that the PM was forced to ask journalists to give his government three months before they criticise him. The good thing about this government is that it claims it has a plan. The 100-day plan laid out by PTI is a comprehensive set of claims and promises made on almost all important issues; ranging from poverty alleviation, malnutrition, local governments, police reforms, judicial reforms, job creation, economic revival, national security and other issues of extreme importance. The chronic issues would take time and institutional reform, which is lengthy and cumbersome process. So they started with short term distractions to show that they mean business. This included a cosmetic austerity drive, which will not have any impact on Pakistan’s economic woes. Nonetheless, appearances are important to charged young voters who want a rapid turnaround. Another populist slogan, on which Imran Khan got a reality check on the first day, was his refusal to use the PM house. The PM’s decision to stay in the small house within the premises of the PM house was the first jolt to the tall set of claims made by him. The PM House is designed to accommodate not only the PM, but also his staff, so that they can run affairs of the Government from premises which are secure and are designed to cater to the needs of the Chief Executive of the country. This was an unnecessary populist non-issue which should not have been brought forward as a national issue in the first place.We can try, but it might be difficult to explain to leaders of other countries that they will have to travel in 1000cc cars, which are not bullet proof, as we are on an austerity driveThe issue of armoured cars was also a non-issue and I feel they should not be put up for auction. After their sale, imagine if Pakistan has to host a meeting of world leaders like SAARC or any other forum, similar cars will be bought again at inflated prices costing the exchequer more money. We can try, but it might be difficult to explain to the leaders of other countries that they will have to travel in 1000cc cars which are not bullet proof, as we are on an austerity drive. Then came the Information Minister, who in his infinite wisdom felt that the Government wasn’t attracting enough criticism, and decided to pitch in. He has been trying to defend another non-issue of the PM using his official helicopter (to which he is completely entitled and has every right to use, as and when he wants). The Minister decided to do something which had never been attempted before… he googled the information! And guess what? Google is not always right! His claim that transporting the PM via helicopter costs Rs 55 per km has opened a floodgate of memes and jokes, that started circulating on social media, giving his political opponents a non-issue to bash the incumbent government with.Punjab became the centre of all discussion when the newly appointed Chief Minister (CM) Sardar Usman Buzdar (whose appointment itself merits a lot of discussion) decided to use his official helicopter and went to pay his respects at the holy shrine in Pakpattan Sharif along with his family. The government had to defend a non-issue as the media started calculating the approximate “loss” this personal trip must have caused the public exchequer. Before the situation got boring or dull, our very own CM Punjab got himself into another controversy where he summoned DPO Pakpattan and directed him to apologise to the first lady’s ex-husband at 1am. As per the DPO, when he refused, he was made an OSD. Whatever happened to making Punjab Police independent of all political influence? The case is now in the Supreme Court, and the facts will be out soon. Moving on to more serious issues, the Pak-US altercation over the Khan-Pompeo phone call was unnecessary. The issue was mishandled by the Foreign Office (FO) and also the Foreign Minister (FM). To begin with, the call should have been directed to the FM instead of the PM, and whatever was discussed could have been managed in a much more mature manner. The US State Department, after standing by their version of the call also issued the transcript, which was embarrassing, to say the least, for the FO and the Government. Just when the government was busy thumping its chest on non-issues, some of our senior colleagues from the media also decided to join in. It was reported that PM Khan refused to take a call from the French President as the call came when he was in a meeting with some senior journalists. It was quite amusing to read the comments of PTI followers, who not only believed this, but also saw this as a new way to manage foreign relations. Calls between Heads of State are always planned well in advance, through the respective foreign offices and embassies. The government had to face more embarrassment as clarifications are now coming in that it was just call from the French Embassy, seeking a time for a call by their president.Despite these slip-ups, this is probably the first time the people of this country have such high hopes attached to one individual. As of now, Khan has an open field with the military firmly behind him and Zardari playing B-team to the Government. Above all, Imran’s biggest rival in Punjab is in jail. But things change quickly in this country. I had a chance to meet Mian Nawaz Sharif and Maryam in Adiala Jail a few days ago, (disclaimer: meeting someone doesn’t mean I take lifafas from them. Thank you), and if PTI thinks PML-N is history, they may be in for a big surprise.As of now, the only opposition he has is the expectations and hope he has inculcated in the youth, who are impatient and want quick results. In addition to managing his voters, he also needs to control his ministers and party members and ensure that they don’t graduate from Google to Wikipedia, in trying to run the matters of the state. I really hope like others; Khan doesn’t get buried under the burden of his tall claims assisted by his some “very able” team members.The writer is a Pakistan based journalists and anchor-personPublished in Daily Times, September 4th 2018.