PML-N will bring us a Naya Pakistan

Published: May 14, 2013

Now that PML-N has been elected as the government, it will understandably under the pressure of its mandate fulfil its duties and expectations of the nation. PHOTO: AFP

The people of Pakistan have finally spoken and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has won by a landslide. Supporters of this party are undoubtedly elated; they might not have been as expressive in declarations of their support but they certainly have been demonstrative of their support through the ballot.

I voted for PML-N because I felt it satisfactorily addressed the list of pressing matters that I personally prioritise for Pakistan:

1) PML-N respects democracy

The acute civil-military imbalance that characterises Pakistan’s power disequilibrium is an issue that I view as pressing; it also offshoots several other troubles in the country. It demands rectification and PML-N has shown the clearest stance in this regard by upholding the rule of civilians. Respect for the mandate of elected-representatives; autonomy from the military establishment, its ventures, adventures, forays into the political and policy-making arena. Picking and sticking to such a stance, in my opinion, is the first right step in the direction of its redressing.

2) PML-N will help Pakistan develop

Their economic and infrastructural focus has always been palpable and their track record is a testament to that. From the M2, setting up of NADRA, dams and power plants, PML-N has delivered (in the past) in the little time that they were given in contrast to their mandate of a total of 10 years in separate stints at the federal government.

The Metro Bus system has also been a noteworthy project that cannot be denied as not having benefited countless people, regardless of the criticism it has received.

3) PML-N makes education a priority 

The party has proven its seriousness towards education. Apart from establishing the outstanding Danish Schools, the Punjab government has shown effective implementation of education reforms all over Punjab. These were criminally underreported in Pakistan but yielded remarkable results.

4) PML-N is a politically mature party

A specific characteristic that struck me about the party had been its sense of political maturity and responsibility. I believe that PML-N displayed judiciousness by allowing the last government to complete its term and not bestowing a crown of political martyrdom and victimhood on its head.

If the PML-N’s role is seen in this regard and context, then it also gets credit for contributing to the milestone of the first term completion of a democratically-elected government in Pakistan and thus, facilitating the transfer of power from one democratically-elected government to another which these elections were.

In its continuous display of political sagacity, PML-N has also brought together all opposition parties against the “circus” that Tahirul Qadri put up in Islamabad; a reiteration of the party’s pledge to stand by democratic principles. PML-N’s leaders also did not reciprocate the mudslinging and pot-shot -taking initiated by Imran Khan.

5) PML-N does not ignore Balochistan

It is a party that reached out to Baloch leaders and called upon them to contest in the elections. In September 2012, PML-N announced its backing to the six-point proposals of Akhtar Mengal in improving conditions of the people of Balochistan.

Having said as much, I was and am conscious and critical of PML-N’s flaws and know that the party I chose for these elections may not be the best. I also know that the aforementioned points I have penned as my reasons to support it may even be or are found in other party’s stances, manifestos and works. However, the collective existence of all of these points in a single party constituted a reason enough for me to cast my vote for them.

Now that they have been elected as the government, PML-N will – understandably under the pressure of its mandate – fulfil its duties and expectations of the nation.

It is required that they actualise the roadmap they presented in their manifesto: from economic revival and growth, curbing terrorism and maintenance of law and order in the country – especially in areas where the government’s writ has been blown to smithereens.

I urge them to deal with the energy crisis present, to work towards the reintegration of FATA into the political and national mainstream and the for country-wide implementation of their education reforms of Punjab. I would also like to see PML-N depoliticise the sports board.

PML-N can also rid the influence of the undemocratic forces in Pakistan by assertive democratisation of the country which can largely be established through good governance.

Keeping aside the emergence of rigging allegations and controversies surrounding the elections for a moment, there is little doubt that these elections have been a historic one for Pakistan. Witnessing the first transfer of power from one civilian democratically-elected government to another, with the highest voter turnout to date, I can state that democracy has already won.

The single sentiment that has simultaneously surged with the results of the elections has been of hope.

Even if the PML-N was not the pick of some people, I hope that the new government will open a new chapter in Pakistan’s tumultuous journey that sees the beginning of what every Pakistani wants: a better, prosperous and progressive Pakistan.

Read more by Hafsa here.


Hafsa Khawaja

A student based in Lahore who keeps a keen eye on Pakistan's socio-political issues and global affairs. She blogs at

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Ammar Shafique

    Dont hijack the term “Naya Pakistan”. The ideology was introduced by Imran Khan. No doubt he has lost the elections but still, he owns it. Use ” to-be-repaired Purana Pakistan”Recommend

  • Faisal

    It’s a Sher Aagaya !! kind of a blogRecommend

  • Faisal

    KPK will become a model of Naya Pakistan Insha Allah!!Recommend

  • Noman

    Though some points you mentioned can be agreed with, the use of a slogan of a party that lost election to PMLN for PMLN isn’t one of those. Just say PMLN will make ‘Roshan Pakistan’ as promised during election campaign. Using ‘Naya Pakistan’ for PMLN is not only condescending, it marks the degree of your pro PMLN bias.

    There’s no mention of foreign policy. And we all know why.

    You mention education reforms and Danish schools. What they’ll do this time remains to be seen but previous record suggests the past Punjab government spent 15 paisas per student per year(You can find the report on ET and it was compiled by Save The Children). Read ASER Pakistan report 2011 on education in Punjab and you’ll hopefully regain your senses.Recommend

  • AK

    Don’t blame the author for using the ‘Naya Pakistan’ term, I am pretty sure the word is used by the editors :)
    Did you guys notice that Naya Pakistan term is not used throughout the article and only in the heading.. I think the editor is a big fan of PTI :D
    PS : I wonder if my comment will get published ? Recommend

  • http://www.tanzeel, Tanzeel

    A serious and mature blog. Clearly reflects PMLNs focus towards prosperity rather than bringing Tsunami through trolling and hate mongering.Recommend

  • R.k!

    naya pakistan is Khan and ours. Its not a zoo so the Sher kindly should remain out of it

    Naye PakistaniRecommend

  • mkz

    “PML-N’s leaders also did not reciprocate the mudslinging and pot-shot-taking initiated by Imran Khan.”

    Oh dear. Did you miss the speeches where he – as Mhd Hanif put it – was promising airports to those who cannot afford bicycles.

    I am sad. Sad that the ‘Naya Pakistan’ you want to see is just a shinier Pakistan than one that needs complete reform across some disgusting institutions that have let millions of people suffer in poverty for centuries. Recommend

  • Rayan

    I fail to understand when will people understand this:

    1) Respecting democracy does not mean not to speak against blunders of the sitting government.
    2) Development does not mean building only a few roads and bridges in the last year of your government.
    2) Making education a priority does not mean to build good looking buildings…
    3) Politically mature does not mean how to rig elections where you need to.
    Last time when PML-N was in center it sacked Baluchistan government…Recommend

  • Imran

    Guys, please leave these politicized Naya & Roshan Pakistan slogans. Pakistan is all that matters. Regardless of whichever party or demagog you support, maturity is that we work for the betterment of this country. After all the fuss, yet more than 90% of it is created by us & not the politicians, we start blaming political parties. For instance, would it kill us if we follow the traffic rules, respect the ques & use a polite tongue?? Just a thoughtRecommend

  • HS

    As far as I know IK has not registered the term ‘Naya Pakistan’ with the Patent Office. So anyone can use it.

    Pleasantly surprised to read at least something positive about ‘N’ online. I thought PTI had taken over the cyber space.

    Fair and balanced article. Thanks.Recommend

  • Zaidi

    PML-N appreciates grandiloquence

    I voted for PML-N because it traditionally pays those off who obsequiously flatter it in pretentious language.

    PML-N serious in reviving food culture in Punjab

    My vote went for PML-N because it has historically encouraged the food culture in Punjab. Mian Nawaz Sharif who is voracious eater himself had famously led the foundation of Food Street in Lahore, making it an attractive stop for the locals and tourists. Recommend

  • http://Usman Usman


  • Max

    For Pakistan’s sake I hope PML-N can do something good for the country. Fingers crossed!Recommend

  • Water Bottle

    @Ammar Shafique:

    “Dont hijack the term “Naya Pakistan”. The ideology was introduced by Imran Khan.”


    You know the meaning of an ideology? What is the ideology in “naya pakistan”? Recommend

  • Aamir

    PTI supporters should understand the fact that they can STILL bring ‘tabdeeli’ by sitting on the opposition benches, however, they are inclined to think the other way round…i.e. they SHOULD have won these elections to bring the CHANGE. I am seeing furious yet “leaderless” mobs on the roads. Moreover, their own leadership has given contradictory statements on the media (i am referring to Asad Umar’s remarks post-election VS Hamid Khan’s remarks yesterday on a talk show). To cut it short, i’d say one thing to PTI mobs out there specifically in Lahore…”if you’re learned, cultured and mature; sit on the opposition benches and PUSH pml-n to PERFORM” Recommend

  • Max

    @Ammar Shafique:
    Don’t feed the troll buddy. These trolls feed off any reactions because their sole agenda is to take delight in causing trouble.Recommend

  • Ahsan

    I am myself an ardent PTI supporter but good luck to PML-N on delivering the promises it made with public.

    Can the educated PML-N supporters create a list of all tangible promises and see how is the national govt delivering on them? We will be as stringent with PTI govt in KPK where we want to see visible improvement. Recommend

  • Parvez

    Five years ago it was generally felt that Nawaz Sharif’s PML-N would get its chance next, the friendly opposition perception, proved true. For the PML-N achieving the end should not have been the only objective, the means by which that end was achieved mattered as well.

  • http://www, Mohammad A Bajwa

    PML (N) policies will be driven by business community. What they will do on other fronts needs to be watched carefully.Recommend

  • Insaan

    @HS: As far as I know IK has not registered the term ‘Naya Pakistan’ with the Patent Office. So anyone can use it.

    You can’t patent, some thing created from old materials as “New”. Calling some thing remanufactured as New as fraudulent. PTI has failed badly in elections. IK may not even recover fully to be a leader. Recommend

  • Alena

    Finally something that is not ‘I-hate-noonleague-and-i-will-troll-everyone-on-twitter-who-disagrees-with-me’!

    Also kudos to some PTI supporters who have actually posted mature comments on this article!

    (no I am not talking about those who think they have copyrights over the term naya pakistan – you are just being sore losers.)Recommend

  • Amer

    PML (N) will only be good in create projects in Lahore or northern Punjab and that too at a very high cost with 100s of kick backs. That’s my prediction.
    The economy of Pakistan will never change with the schemes like qarz utaro mulk sawaro or yellow cabs. Recommend

  • Mush


  • umair409

    PMLN delivered more than you described in your article. Please do full research. Anyways I am highlighting few more points.

    10~14 hours load shedding in cities

    Shortage of water in cities

    Shortage of natural gas in cities

    No investment in govt. hospitals

    As many as 660 primary schools can be upgraded to middle level schools if the money being spent on Danish Schools is diverted to mainstream education sector. – See more at:

    Auditor General of Pakistan has unearthed a major fiscal scam in the Sasti Roti Scheme.

  • salman

    Yes, keep aside allegations of rigging and sleep well. Recommend

  • saba

    and that is why you voted for him?Recommend

  • S. Waqar Hasnain

    While I agree with what the author has penned about PML but this is not the whole story. Of late Nawaz Sharif has demonstrated political maturity and proved to be a true statesman, reducing his opponents look like pygmies.

    I recall when Osama Bin Laden was ” discovered” from the backyard of Kakool, it was only Nawaz Sharif who said when the entire world is saying its time to go for introspection, we should do it. No other politician, including the brave-heart Imran Khan had the moral courage to say these words lest the real powers get antagonized.

    Similarly when the Mehran Base incident occurred, only Nawaz Sharif spoke up that those responsible within the state organs should be brought to the book. Imran & for that matter all other known politicians kept a complete aloofness as if this happened in Uganda.

    Recently he spoke about debate on defense spendings in the national assembly and formation of a truth commission on Kargil. Similarly he indicated opening of trade channels with India while affording MFN status to it.

    This is not the same Nawaz Sharif we experienced 15 years ago, albeit the limitations he had to face in those times. This time he is more sagacious, forthright and magnanimous. His each action and statement is a testament to this. He might not be able to change everything overnight but at least the direction is right and the will is there. Recommend

  • Ahsan

    Dear Hafsa,

    You are here and so is all of Pakistan, lets see how much of what you say actually happens.

    Having said that all the best to PML-N, I hope they good, they have the mandate


  • Ahsan

    @Saba: Think sarcasm and read again …Recommend

  • Ali

    I voted for PML-NRecommend

  • sensible

    reformation begins at grass-root level. Look at condition of governement schools, colleges of Punjab. Look at the police, patwari culture of punjab. 20 millions children are out schools in Punjab. And you talk about danish schools, metro bus and all those gimmicks. It is all about prorities isn’t?Recommend

  • opler

    why my comment isn’t published?Recommend

  • Fed up

    from 1 seat to over 25 in a country like Pakistan. I’d say Imran Khan has succeeded amazingly. He set out to awaken the youth and he did. No party has grown like PTI did in these elections. They went from no seats to a majority in a province and some seats in Punjab too. I think you are the failure if you think that PTI did badly in these elections. Recommend

  • ashar

    As a matter of fact it is going to be naya Pakistan every where except of my unfortunate province Sind. Same old corruption politics.Recommend

  • mj

    Naya Pakistan is yours only. I guess you mean that if Imran had won the election it would been Naya Pakistan for you guys only ( PTI Walay only) Viva Viva. way to go. @R.k!: Recommend

  • pk

    people of pakistan are stupidRecommend

  • Zee

    on 11th May Imran Khan and PTi didnot loose. The Pakistani population lost.

    5 years will go by in a flash will see what happens.

    They have had a couple of stints before, and everytime N was in power it is termed as a GOLDEN AGE for Pakistan (smell the sarcasm please)

    But I HOPE sincerely hope they do something this time around. Doubtful I am though.

    Lets talk statistics, but wait we cannot talk since the author hasnt replied to any of the earlier comments, at least you should have the audacity to not only reply to people who are commenting on your blog but also back your claims with statistics.

    Just a couple of points though, Pakistan has seen the lowest growth rate, gdp, lowest economic stability, highest inflation, lowest international and private sector investment, highest corruption, lowest education budget, lowest health care budget in civilian governments in the past 3 decades.

    I see you are big supporter of democracy and have repeated the term “from one democratic rule to another” quite a few times. The best times in the history of Pakistan the golden age were during Military Regime. Ayub Khan and Musharaff.


  • Umer

    You mean they wont be burning Christians any more?Recommend

  • Noman

    iPhone or Android?

    I’m PTI and I wish PMLN the best.

    But there are serious issues with this article. For one, what happened to the foreign policy? Those promising Naya Pakistan made it clear Pakistan won’t let anyone drone its citizens.

    You can use the slogan Naya Pakistan all you want and to be fair, it’s not an ideology either but what happened to Roshan Pakistan? Recommend

  • Danyal

    PML-N will help Punjab – not any other province or any other city besides Lahore. Recommend

  • Humza

    @Zaidi: I agree ! At least PML N will help people to eat which is more than you can say for most parties- if people have food, shelter, jobs and energy then PML N is definitely the way to go!Recommend

  • Noman Ansari

    I personally thought it was a good piece presenting a view point from a party I don’t support. Recommend

  • Hassan Khan

    No one can bring change on the rigged mandate, Nor it happens in 97, 2002, 2008 and unlikely in 2013. Recommend

  • Shahab Nasir

    . In his statement yesterday he said “I cannot give a timeline for resolution of loadshedding in the country”Recommend

  • Salman

    Who needs electricity when you’ve metro bus. :) Recommend

  • Xnain

    No sir its you. Recommend

  • Xnain

    Wrong you are daniyal. Have a look at election statistics and you’ll see yourself. Recommend

  • madiha akhtar

    @S. Waqar Hasnain:

    Although I am a PTI supporter, this is one of the rare sensible comments i have read in favour of PML-N and I believe PML-N would try and deliver this time. Agreed change would not come overnight and few years don’t really matter in the life of a Nation in order to bring reforms and change in system. Even the PML-N Supporters are very well aware of this and i personally feel people will now vote only on performance of governments. I wish PML-N all the very best for their tenure and I look forward to see how they handle a strong and vocal opposition because lets face it, PTI has emerged as a strong opposition in Punjab and i think PML-N think tank is quite aware of it.Recommend

  • Mustafa Haider, CA

    Blogger like you should always try to hide their political affiliations like men hide their salary and women their age, since its a very personal affair that impacts ones image.
    On the contrary, why not, whould a Khawaja not voting another Khawaja Mian Butt…

    Hun araam aay.

    See, I actually voted PTI because I dont like corrupt people.Recommend

  • S. Waqar Hasnain

    @ Madiha Akhtar: I just wish every PTI supporter to think and respond like you, in a rational way.

    I would like to remind how the concept of NAYA PAKISTAN got its seeds.When Nawaz Sharif decided to go for the long march for the restoration of judges/judiciary, there were thousands of people with him who were there beyond party affiliations and had only one point agenda…trample President House to restore the judges whom Musharraf had illegally locked. When the enormous crowd reached Gujranwala, Federal Government (read PPP) got panicky and resultantly orders were given to DCO & DPO (DC & SP) to arrest Nawaz Sharif and rest of the leaders/agitators. In clear defiance of these directives, both of them tendered their resignations & joined the long march. This alarmed Rawalpindi as message was sent that state machinery had started to collapse and any further increment in it will be highly detrimental for the country. THIS was the defining moment and the beginning of Naya Pakistan. Recommend

  • paindu

    What was Khawaja saad rafique doing in a womens voting booth?Recommend

  • bigsaf

    We’ll see, but I’m pessimistic and see the same old, same old. There might be some small improvements here and there, but doubt there’ll be major progress.

    Especially concerned on how they’ll tackle the law and order situation and the scourge of extremism, militancy and terrorism.


  • GIndian

    Inspite of adverse situation, people of Pakistan did vote. Democracy is the right form of governing system for a multi ethnic, multi linguistic country like Pakistan. It is not reasonable to expect a perfect and corruption free democracy. Politicians are a mirror of the existing society and they do not inherit any special DNA. Take the case of Southern India. There have been some corrupt
    rulers, but they did a remarkable job to improve the economic situation of their state. Southern city of Chennai is now called a mini Detroit of the east due to the presence of several auto makers. End results matter the most whether the ruler is corrupt or not. Imran Khan’s party will get 5 years to prove their worth and if they deliver, they will definitely come to power the next time. I hope Nawaz Sharif will create a new and prosperous Pakistan. Recommend

  • umer

    Even if I agree to with the author all the evidence is contrary to the claims made in this article. This is the 3rd time PMLN will be in federation and 6th time in Punjab whatever you claim political maturity, education etc. were not seen in their previous terms, education budget was reduced in Punjab in 2008-13 govt. so was medicine, law and order worsened etc etc. More important issue like corruption, tax collection, law and order, war on terror, independence of Judiciary, extention of army chief, Kashmir Issue, Karachi terror, etc are not covered in this article. Sorry to say but the content of the article does not do justice with the title of the article. It is just like Metro service, the title which is good, to hide hopeless effort done in Punjab, which is the content of the article (sorry last sentence was personal attacking but couldnt resist). Recommend

  • Maryam

    just for your education, every candidate has a right to visit /go inside any polling station of their constituency. Recommend

  • Stranger

    Yes this is definitly a better party today in Pak. PPP is a bit hazy after BB died / IK’s party is still a baby. So among the present flock, Sharif is the best. Recommend

  • bigsaf

    Its unfortunate that the contextual and correct detailed paragraph on PML-N’s poor track record with minorities and links with extremists, whose activities the govt is expected to curb, mentioned at the end of my last comment was censored.Recommend

  • ali

    Buliding motorways and metro bus projects is not what naya pakistan is all about. Pml N like always will focus on secondary issues rather than primary issues. As far as economic growth is concerned, Nawaz Sharif’s last two governments had the lowest gdp’s in pakistans history.Recommend

  • An Observer

    To those who think Sharif is a better option in all, I suggest wait until they put forward their economic and foreign policy. Somehow I see no light at the end of the tunnel as yet. I just hope for the sake of Pakistan they are honest this time.Recommend

  • Ali S


    Not sure if being sarcastic or serious, but I hope so.Recommend

  • Mariam

    Hafsa, just because you are Kashmiri you decided to side with your corrupt Kashmiri “uncle.” I’m Kashmiri too but thankfully I have a brain. I give PMLN a year or 2, after that they are out. In case you haven’t noticed these show off brothers never seem to complete a term.
    Another thing ET always publishes anti PTI articles but glowing reviews of other parties. Seems more like prejudice to me. Recommend

  • Tongue

    Good work yaar. Nice research. We all have much time, really.Recommend

  • Bilal

    @ Hafsa Khawaja, its really very soothing and a sigh of relief to learn that there are people in that educated, moderate and metropolitan demographic division of our society who posses good political and democratic sense and are not a victim of a severe Hero worship syndrome. Recommend

  • A. Khan

    @Tanzeel: Don/t hold your breath. The problem with having a businessman running a country is that they run like its nobody’s business.
    But what made me really laugh was the first point about PML(N) respecting democracy.

    We will see whether PML(N) can deliver or do they know that the gravy train is about to stop and its time to make hay while they are in power ?

    I wish the new government and PM well. Lets hope someone finally starts working towards resolving the problems faced by Pakistan. Then again, I am not holding my breath.Recommend

  • Ahmed

    Talking about priorities iam shocked how the author thinks that Metro bus and shahbazsharif laptops were things that were essential for the “development of pakistan” .How can these cosmetic and unproductive products be a good priority when citizens of punjab were hostage to the chronic power failure . The industry in punjab was completely destroyed under the sharif government….most of the industrialist shifted there industries to countries like Bangladesh and Egypt. Yet again the minister for industry will be the same person who ruined our industry during previous govt of PPP. The sharif brothers only know politics as their business they never knew statesmanship. They are liars and cheaters. Look at the promise they made before election:”Do saal mein bijli ki loadshedding khatam kardengey ” And now u will see nawaz sharif making an apology that they cant end load shedding in two years and are even not giving any new dead line….iam astonished how people like this author believe that PMLN and its leaders are mature. Those people who take back there promises even before coming into government can not be called mature. Its the immature people like this author who bring such corrupt political mafias into power again and again….AND NEVER GET TIRED OF IT!Recommend