Though it is unfair and premature to give any sweeping verdicts on PTI’s performance, Imran Khan’s own actions in the past, and his idealistic predisposition throughout his political career, has led his critics to attack him from the very beginning. The recent controversy regarding Imran Khan’s use of a helicopter to travel between the Prime Minister House and Bani Gala, has ignited a war of sorts on social media. To be fair, Khan has serious threats on his life, and perhaps it was a prudent move on his part. Yet, his claims to eradicate the prevalent VIP culture in Pakistani politics and introducing an austerity drive seem contrary to his recent actions. It has led to accusations that he made these promises for political mileage and nothing more. When PTI was in the opposition, they were critical of every little move made by the ruling parties, so it is only natural that now as they are in power; they will be subject to the same kind of treatment as well. Additionally, since Khan has taken charge, he has disappointed us with his appointments for Chief Ministers of both Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab. For the PTI, it was absolutely necessary to field a strong candidate in Punjab, in order to consolidate power in the face of a very strong opposition in the provincial assembly. Khan has also gone back on his promises, to give young and fresh faces a chance in the assemblies; instead we see the same old faces in power yet again. Having said that, we must remain sanguine and tolerant of Khan’s current moves. Despite a few hiccups, he has taken legitimate progress to enforce an austerity drive, as he vowed to do in his victory speech. His actions have created a ‘Feel Good Factor’ in the country, and now all that remains to be seen is whether this austerity effect will trickle down or will it remain confined to the Prime Minister only. His actions have created a ‘Feel Good Factor’ in the country, and now all that remains to be seen is whether this austerity effect will trickle down or will it remain confined to the Prime Minister only By living in a three bedroom house, with only two cars and two servants, instead of the palatial PM house, is setting a precedent that was once attempted by Junejo back in 1985, before he was ousted. These initiatives have proved to be popular among the masses and will restore their trust in the country’s ruling elite. Furthermore, even though some of these moves will not help save enough money to have a worthwhile effect on the country’s financial woes, they will have symbolic value and an overall positive effect on the population. One positive step taken by Khan that has gone slightly under the radar is renewed checks and balances regarding the discretionary funds for the PM and government ministers. These have been misused in the past, with none of the ministers being brought to justice for their actions, and this is set to change the face of the political system in Pakistan. Additionally, Khan’s decision to turn the current PM house and governor houses in to universities is a commendable one, even though it perhaps is a bit impractical in nature. The PM house is situated in the red zone, which is a high security area, making it impossible to have a public educational facility within its confines. Similarly, Khan’s vow to bring back all the money that was stolen from the public exchequer through corruption and other malpractices is pretty farfetched. He might be able to bring a small percentage of the funds back to the country, but even that will take years of investigation, international diplomacy and court cases. The 100 day plan is another example of an impractical idea, as who expects a newly elected government, especially in a country like Pakistan, to achieve anything meaningful in a little more than three months. The PTI government has been elected for five years, and the people would rather have them present long term policies that they plan to implement over the coming years. It is important to understand that Khan is now driving a car with approximately 220 million people on board, and for him to succeed in getting to their promised destination- the ‘Naya Pakistan’ – Khan and the PTI need to roll up their sleeves and get to work. The eyes of the world are on them, and the onus is on them to ensure the next five years are prosperous and full of change. Good Luck! The writer is an academic. He tweets @muhd_hani Published in Daily Times, September 9th 2018.