Yes, IK did have a plan which if given time, will bear fruit. Facts and figures clearly demonstrate progress made under IK. Anyone who claims otherwise is no different from a mullah that preaches that world is flat.
First: the problem. Growth requires energy. This is a basic equation for all societies be it Amreeka or Pakistan. Before shale boom, Amreeka financed its energy and other imports by printing USD. After development of US shale, Amreeka's energy production has increased significantly but country still depends on energy imports although to much lesser extent. Overall however, America still runs significant trade deficit which is financed by attracting capital and by printing USD.
Unlike USD, or EUR or JPY for that matter, PKR is not a reserve currency. So when Pak buys oil from Aramco, Pak has to pay for its purchase in USD. So how does Pak get access to USD? Through (i) exports (ii) remittances (iii) foreign investment (iv) loans (commercial and bilateral/multilateral).
Did IK's government achieve success in getting USD? Yes it most certainly did. Unlike under last government's tenure, exports and remittances rose significantly while country had access to commercial loan market (Eurobond). More importantly, country started building dams which should reduce energy dependency. But dams take time to build and until they come on-line, Pakistan's import requirements will keep going up especially given Pakistan's rapid population growth rate.
Given what I am saying is fairly obvious, question arises why did previous government not achieve what IK did in his short tenure? Previous government was bent on keeping exchange rate fixed which made exports uncompetitive and damaged policy credibility whose results are what we are seeing today. Even worse, reason for keeping overvalued PKR was that it made it cheaper for criminals to transfer money out of Pakistan. Another big screw up was putting up new power plants without optimizing cost of input.
Question also arises what has changed after RCO? Investors have long memories. They remember damaged done by Dar in his last tenure so they refuse to lend to Pak. Second, expats, being much smarter than average lullo, remembers that Dar's government has been a disaster for Pak. So rational response is to decrease remittances and investment (Roshan Digital). Result is Pakistan is experiencing a USD shortage. This is creating a vicious cycle since govt is restricting imports which are inputs to exports.
This is not to say IK is an angel. Rather than asking for blood, sweat and toil, Ik has been selling snake oil to awam in the form of recovery of stolen loot. Given good days did not materialise, awam's reaction was understandable especially given they dont know basics of international finance. On this front, sad to say, army high command is no different from average lulloo.
So we enjoy the show.