Last week the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government under Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif completed its first 100 days in office. The elections in May, though marred by rigging and irregularities, made history as Pakistan’s first democratic transition. But if Pakistanis were jubilant about this milestone at the time, their joy had faded by the time of my visit last month.
Sharif campaigned on five major promises: that he would set the economy on track, end energy shortages in three years, end U.S. drone strikes on Pakistani territory, tackle terrorism and pursue positive relations with neighbors. In pre-election polls, 81 percent of Pakistanis said the economy was bad, while 95 percent and 93 percent ranked crime and terrorism respectively as the other biggest problems.
In short, Sharif had his work cut out for him. His ability to deliver, however, has been limited.