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The Imran Debacle and Challenges for Pakistan’s Foreign Policy

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Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan becomes yet another Prime Minister in the South Asian nation’s history who failed to complete a full five year term. Losing the no confidence motion in the National Assembly earlier this week,  Imran Khan has left behind a trail of foreign policy challenges for the new government.

The Dramatic Rise and Fall

Imran Khan won the Prime Ministerial elections in 2018 by securing 110 out of 294 seats in the 2018 elections which were  quickly alleged to be rigged. Coming to power after more than a decade of stepping into politics, the former cricketer promised to change the course of Pakistan’s elite dominated politics in his inaugural speech by formulating pro-poor policies, establishing peaceful relations with India, crafting beneficial relations with the United States, maintaining good relations with China, balancing relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran and bringing peace to Afghanistan. He promised to mend the economy, make the rich pay taxes, create jobs and mend relations with the turbulent Federally Administered  Tribal Areas (FATAs).

However, he fell short of all his promises. His policies to usher in a “Naya Pakistan” (“New Pakistan”) miserably failed on all fronts from economy to domestic and foreign policy.

Contrary to raising lifestyles as promised, his regime saw the pauperisation of the middle class as the country grappled with one of its worst inflation crises. As per the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, the Consumer Price Index rose to 13%, its highest in two years in January 2022. The prices of essential food items rose to 15.1%. Moreover, Khan’s comments that he ‘did not join politics to decide the price of potatoes and tomatoes’  angered the populace. Unemployment also surged with Pakistan Institute of Development Economics reporting 31% of the youth to be unemployed, 51% of them being women. His regime was also marked by massive economic mismanagement. The World Bank has slashed Pakistan’s economic growth rate forecast to 4.3%, a drop of one percent from last year, blaming the energy subsidies of the outgoing regime which destabilised the IMF programme.

Mr. Khan seemed to be on a fallout with both progressive and conservative sections.

While his derogatory remarks on women and support for the Taliban regime in Afghanistan drew flak from liberal and progressive sections, he failed to woo the conservative elements as evident in a massive series of rallies led by the religious leader Maulana Fazlur Rehman of the powerful right wing party, Jamiat Ulema-e Islam (JUI-F) who alleged him of coming to power through rigged elections. Rehman joined the other opposition parties such as the Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) and Pakistan’s People Party (PPP) to form a cross party coalition called the Pakistan Democracy Movement which demanded Imran Khan’s resignation. Though the movement eventually fizzled out, the opposition continued to raise demands of passing a no-confidence motion against Imran.

Soon the demand gained momentum and calls for ousting the Imran government strengthened. In a live address to the nation, Imran Khan left no stone unturned to save face by defining the move against him as a “foreign conspiracy” and demanding people to hit the streets against it. However, none of this worked as the Supreme Court of Pakistan allowed for a no-confidence motion to take place in the National Assembly which had been rejected by the Speaker. After a day full of political drama, Imran’s  Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) party government was ousted at midnight, making Imran Khan  Pakistan’s first Prime Minister to be ousted through a no-confidence motion. PML-N’s Shehbaz Sharif, the brother of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has been elected the new Prime Minister. The PTI boycotted the session and Imran resigned from the Parliament stating an unwillingness to “sit alongside thieves”.

With Imran gone, the new government has a lot many challenges to deal with specifically on the foreign policy front.

Self Respect

In his address to the nation days before being ousted, Imran Khan squarely placed the blame for the chaos on the opposition parties and their ‘foreign collaborators’.

He took a trip down the memory lane fondly remembering Pakistan’s founding father Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s vision of a prosperous Pakistan which he claimed was meant to stand on the legs of “insaniyat” (humanity) and “khudaari” (self respect) but had been miserably failed by the elite political nexus that has been ruling Pakistan for the past eight decades. Crafting himself in the same light as Jinnah, Imran made every attempt to distinguish himself from  the opposition leaders by stating that he has no vested interests in politics unlike the rest.

Imran has been openly criticising General Musharraf’s compliance with the United States’ War on Terror which he stated brought immense suffering to both Pakistanis abroad and those who inhabit the FATA regions. Placing the events in the light of Pakistani leadership’s “fear” of the US, Imran pointed to how Islamabad was betrayed by Washington who did not prove to be as supportive.

His address was centred around a letter which he stated in a slip of tongue was received from the United States but soon retracted claiming it to be a “foreign country, not the United States” which allegedly claimed that Pakistan would ‘face consequences if Imran is not ousted’. The piece of paper has made repeated appearances at Imran’s recent rallies, waved to a crowd of hundreds to portray him as the only leader who dared to show teeth to the foreign powers for guarding  Pakistan’s dignity.

According to Imran, the letter is a consequence of his meeting with Russian’s Vladimir Putin,  days before the ongoing Moscow led invasion of Ukraine which Islamabad has abstained from criticising. Khan had previously criticised the alleged pressure put on Pakistan to come out in open support of Ukraine by claiming that Islamabad is ‘not a slave of the Western powers’. Emphasising on Pakistan’s sovereign right to chart an independent foreign policy course without being influenced by any foreign power, Imran has created a discourse where only an independent leader with no strings attached to any foreign power or vested interests such as himself could restore  the khudaari that Pakistan was meant to symbolise while painting all other leaders in a grim light of being collaborators who keep their petty interests over those of the nation.

However, restoring Khudaari would not be an easy task. As Pakistan knocks on the IMF’s door again for yet another bailout while already drowning in debt from both the United States and China, it is nearly impossible for it to have an independent foreign policy which would be influenced by either of the powers, whichever pays more.

Between Washington and Beijing

The harsh criticism that Imran has spewed  against the United States is reflective of a bleak reality. While the United States continues to be a top investor, Islamabad, which was once the path through which the United States reached out to Beijing resulting in the 1972 Shanghai Communiqué,  is no longer relevant  for Washington post the withdrawal from Afghanistan, who sees India as a possible power to curb the growing influence of China as reflected in the decision to form the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue or Quad.

The United States President Joe Biden has repeatedly expressed concerns over Pakistani soil being used as a safe haven for terrorism. While Islamabad has continuously escaped the FATF’s black list, the issue coupled with its falling significance in American eyes  has tarnished bilateral relations to the extent that Biden has not even cared to meet Imran since attaining power in 2020.

Mr. Khan’s open criticism of the United States has also irked the military which remained ‘neutral’ when the former, who was once their blue eyed boy, was being ousted.

Moreover, the Imran government has clearly allied Pakistan with the China-Russia nexus on the Ukraine issue. While many nations like India and South Korea have similarly refrained from sanctioning Russia, China and now Pakistan have come out in clear defense of Russia and its ‘legitimate security concerns’ while mooting the discourse on clearly allying with it either. Imran has also routinely praised China’s foreign policy describing it as a good friend.

The friendship between Islamabad and Beijing dates back to the 1960s. Pakistan was one of the first countries to recognise the Communist regime in 1949 as well as the first non-Communist regime to have direct airline connectivity with China. At that time, Pakistan was a staunch ally of the US and a member of both the  Central Treaty Organisation (CENTO) and the Southeast Asia Treaty Organisation (SEATO). Washington’s refusal to aid Pakistan during the 1965 Indo-Pakistan War made Islamabad drift closer to China which shared a common animosity towards India. However, Beijing did little to help its ally during the 1971 Indo-Pakistan War when East Pakistan (present-day Bangladesh) was severed from the country.

Though China has not signed any major mutual defence agreement with Pakistan, the extent of its economic aid is unparalleled, evident in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as part of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative (一带一路).

Originally valued at US$ 47 billion, CPEC’s  estimated value in 2020 rose to US$ 62 billion. As per official records, 20% of CPEC is debt-based financed while 80% are investments in Joint Ventures. The project is expected to create 40,000 jobs for Pakistanis and is expected to boost the  economy by enhancing connectivity and transportation which will benefit the agrarian and industrial sectors. Beijing offers Islamabad low-interest loans which critics like the United States and India have labelled as its “debt diplomacy”. Though Pakistan claims it to be equity-based financing, it is drowned in massive debt which increased the debt-to-GDP ratio by 6 percentage points from 67% in 2016-17 to 73% in 2017-18. With a sluggish economy, chances of repayment are razor-thin. Moreover, the project remains only partially functional and has shown sluggish progress which has created friction between China and Pakistan.

While a regime change would definitely better ties with the United States, to what extent Pakistan would delink with China and re-ally with Washington on issues such as the Ukrainian crisis where both stand diametrically opposed would be a major challenge.

India

Though marked with certain positive developments such as the opening of the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor for pilgrimage, the Imran government has failed to make a major breakthrough in rekindling relations with India as top level peace talks and track two diplomacy remain non-existent.

Apart from raising the age-old rhetoric of Pakistani sovereign claims over Kashmir, his last few days in office saw Imran  showering praises on India for leading an “independent and people-oriented” foreign policy which he finds to be  lacking in his country. His pro-India  statements have drawn flak from opposition leaders like Maryam Nawaz who now lead the government. With the new Prime Minister already spewing criticism against India, mending bilateral relations remains a crucial challenge, for the failure of the new regime in negotiating with India would only make Imran come out looking better.

Afghanistan

Imran Khan’s open affinities with the newly established Taliban regime in Afghanistan, with statements such as Taliban has “broken down the shackles of slavery“,  as part of an anti-US move would also be a major challenge for the new regime. Though the opposition parties including the PML-N had emphasised on the takeover being an “internal matter” of Kabul, 55% of the Pakistanis expressed satisfaction with the takeover, pointing to a rising wave of radical conservatism. While this rhetoric would be mellowed down as the new regime would try to ease tensions with the US left behind by Imran, simultaneously negotiating with the Taliban would be difficult, for the Taliban  possesses the capacity to infiltrate Islamabad’s already volatile regions of FATA and establish terror hubs there.

West Asia

Relations with West Asia have also been strained specifically after Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi blasted the Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC), blaming it for failing to take a hardline stance against India’s conversion of the state of Jammu and Kashmir into a centrally administered Union territory.

Qureshi’s words infuriated Islamabad’s ally Saudi Arabia which froze a US $3.2 billion oil credit facility to Pakistan and demanded early partial repayment of a US $3 billion loan. General Qamar Bajwa visited Riyadh in order to ease tensions however, ties remain strained. Saudi eyes closer relations with New Delhi and Beijing  as  part of Prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s Vision 2030 which aims to modernise the Saudi economy and make it less dependent on oil. However, owing to its economic dependence, Pakistan can not afford to isolate Saudi Arabia and tried hard to mend ties.

Another fallout soon came when Riyadh turned down Pakistan embassy’s request to observe public events on  October 27, the day Jammu and Kashmir acceded to India, as a ‘Black Day’. Iran also declined such requests, spoiling Mr. Khan’s dreams of playing a major role in mediating between the two rival powers.

Many Pakistan watchers noted that such a disenchantment stemmed from Islamabad’s embrace of the Erdogan regime in Turkey, whose ambitions in the region have irked both Riyadh and Tehran.

The Shadow of Imran

Though out of both the office and the National Assembly, the shadow of Imran Khan still lurks in Pakistan’s politics.

First, A national cricket hero, Mr. Khan still remains a charismatic leader among the radicals, upper middle class as well as Pakistanis abroad as depicted in the large crowd that hit the streets on his emotive calls to restore Pakistan’s self respect vis à vis the ‘foreign collaborators’.

Second, Mr. Khan has efficiently encashed  his image to dangerously destabilise popular faith in the functionality of Pakistan’s democracy, which needless to say remains defunct. His constant claims of the new regime being a ‘foreign import’, the suspicions over the no-confidence vote as a ‘foreign conspiracy’ and recently, questioning the impartiality of the judicial order that gave a green light to the no-confidence motion against him work  against the spirit of democracy and would pose a grave challenge to the new regime.

Third, Imran and his PTI have been masters of street campaigning and would leave no stone unturned to challenge the legitimacy of the new regime at every level.

Fourth, though inefficient, the hard reality is that Imran Khan is one of the few faces which do not form a part of the elite family nexus of Pakistani politics which has hampered the development of democracy in the South Asian country. While the alleged level of American interference is unfounded, it cannot be denied that past regimes in Pakistan have kept democracy at stake to pursue their own vested interests. As a person aloof from such notorious family nexus, Mr. Khan might recuperate support in his favour.

Fifth and most importantly, Imran Khan has commenced a dialogue with regard to Pakistan’s foreign policy in the public realm which seems to have no end. The dialogue around khudaari,  that he himself forgot during three and a half years of his rule, would act as a parameter on the basis of which all future governments might be judged and opposed. While chances are that it might dissipate, the anti-West or to put more precisely, the Anti-American  attitude that has been created in the region, reflected in both the rise of Taliban and the anti-US demonstrations in Pakistan on Imran’s call, points to the fact that it might intensify to become a permanent feature of Pakistan’s political life where too much affinity with Washington might be perceived as being antithetical to national interests.

While only time would tell how far Imran Khan would be able to impact the course of Pakistan’s politics, the whole episode points yet again to the pressing need of bringing in structural reforms so as to strengthen democracy in Pakistan.

Cherry Hitkari is a postgraduate student of East Asian Studies at University of Delhi, India and a current intern at Modern Diplomacy.

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South Asia

Varisha Tariq – Representing women in politics

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Varisha Tariq is a writer and politician interested in the intersectionality of gender, class and global politics with culture. She is an Alumna of Ashoka University, and founder of Helping Hands NGO, Lucknow. She has been published in an anthropological book ‘People called Lucknow’ and in news outlets like Vogue, Stylist Magazine, Fodor, CH-VOID, LiveWire, Your Story, Feminism In India and Hindustan Times. You can find all her published work here and her most recent article in Vogue here.

Why did you choose to contest for elections in India?  
Growing up as a Muslim woman I had become intricately familiar with how politics impacts marginalised women’s rights. The lack of women in politics certainly played a huge role in how the policies in the country were shaped. I had always been a feminist who has been interested in bringing large-scale change and post my undergraduate studies at Ashoka, I realise the potential Indian Politics hold. Not just that but the understanding that it’s all about the courage to enter these fields. To quote Emma Watson, “if not me, who? if not now, when?”

Why did you choose Congress as the party you want to support? 

My reason for choosing congress was based on the party’s current policy, leadership and an analysis of its relevance geographically and their long-term vision. The party re-designed its vision to a feminist structure with women empowerment as a key point in its manifesto. It promised to have a minimum of forty per cent women in leadership positions. In Uttar Pradesh, Congress has been strong opposition to the right-wing ideological party, BJP. Moreover, the party leadership is committed to restructuring the party from a long-term perspective and I appreciated the dedication. These were my reason for choosing to support congress. 

What are some campaigns you ran for your party? 

All my campaigns were in alignment with #LadkiHounLadSaktiHoun campaign. I ran a digital campaign to raise awareness about the electoral process in order to encourage others to apply. I tried to break down the process of applying for MLA in Uttar Pradesh as this knowledge would make politics more accessible to people who have doubts or reservations about the political system. The campaigns were planned keeping Covid in mind so they had physical restrictions. 

Why did you choose feminism as a centric theme for your campaigns? 

Having experienced patriarchal and structural defects that work against the Indian woman, and having worked in the social sector, I realised the biggest change that needs to come in India is in the field of policy making. Even if we have strong laws that can help prevent oppression against women, we don’t have a strong policy system that can properly support it. Politicians are key in creating and promoting healthy policies. Strong policies regardig women can only come into affect if we have more feminist politicians. Even apart from that, I have always dreamt of creating feminist social impact and I believe that this campaign has been a start of a lifelong commitment to this cause. 

Do you see yourself trying for elections again despite the outcome this time? 

That is a yes without any doubt. Politics is one profession where you must commit to a long-term plan. For the same reason, this is never rushed. You keep coming back to politics as and when you grow. When I entered I knew that this would be something I would carry with me lifelong and the efforts have to be consistent. So, in short, yes, I will definitely keep trying till it works out. 

What has your social work in the past included? 

I worked as a Resident Assistant in the final year of my college, a student ambassador for Ashoka University for two years, a member of Centre for Gender and Sexuality, Ashoka University. All these commitments drew out a leader in me, a leader who is passionate about serving her community. In 2019, I established Helping Hands NGO where I led a team of six individuals. The objective was to make welfare schemes accessible for the marginalized. Over the span of four months, I connected to more than forty-five thousand female students and two thousand families. During the deadly second wave of Covid, I used my NGO to increase awareness of medical resources available in Lucknow. I worked with Ashoka University and Barefoot International at the time when India was, quite literally, gasping for breath. Today I am working to create sustainable creative scholarships for marginalised young girls who want to grow up and pursue unconventional career paths.

What are your future plans?

After dabbling in the creative sector, development sector, politics and business I have realised that the one thing that has remained common in whatever I do is my feminist understanding of the world. In order to learn and understand more about the feminst leadership and perspective I have decide to pursue a masters in Gender and Law from SOAS Univeristy of London. Post that I would want to come back to India and pursue politics. Hopefully my deeper understanding of Gender and Law from South-Asian perspective would allow me to create meaningful and sustainble impact in politics in the years to come. 

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The India-Pakistan Sub-Conventional War: Democracy and Peace in South Asia -Book Review

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Sanjeev Kumar H.M., The India-Pakistan Sub-Conventional War: Democracy and Peace in South Asia, New Delhi: SAGE Publications India Pvt. Ltd, 2022, pp. 207, ₹1,095 (Hard Cover). ISBN: 978-93-5479-420-9.

The India-Pakistan relations have involved a manifestation of the multifaceted nature of conflict since their independence and partition. The legacy of colonialism, psychology of fractured identities and a deep sense of nationalism have been the leading trends defining their relations. From geopolitical conflicts over Kashmir issue and cross-border terrorism, their geostrategic ties with other countries to the third party involvement of US and China, India and Pakistan have seen multiple level of tensions.

To understand these multifaceted dynamics of India-Pakistan relations, the book under review involves an adequate analysis of their unique relations that is beyond the understanding of any western theorization. The book criticises the theory of democratic peace thesis and reports its failure in the context of India-Pakistan relationship as two democracies facing multiple level of conflicts. The author, Sanjeev Kumar HM, criticize the liberal peace thesis for considering only the conventional definition of warfare, and suggests to move beyond or consider the sub conventional form of conflict through diving into the empirical case scenarios of India-Pakistan relations. It examines the modes by which the crisis-prone processes of democratization in South Asia have contested the central thesis of liberal theory of international relations, which claims a natural link between democracy and war. In other words, the book opposes the epistemic foundations of democratic peace hypothesis by deconstructing its central arguments in the geostrategic context of the South Asian regional security architecture. It explains the South Asian region as a postcolonial territorial formation, which has been plagued by internal conflicts driven by social-economic inequities and embedded complexities.

Unlike the chronological explanations of India-Pakistan relations, the book aims to revise the theoretical rigors around them. The ontology, epistemology, spatial-temporal aspect of every theory is different, thus cannot be generalized. The democratic peace these is suitable for those societies engaged in interdependent community, for instance- European Union. The author has analyzed the transferability of democracy and peace from domestic to regional and then to the global level, which varies as per the history of a country or region. Unlike Western Society, the South Asian region has multiple aspect of analysis- Nationalism, Post-colonial conditionality, and delayed modernity. The failure of modernity in South Asia itself makes it not qualified to be analyzed as per the liberal peace thesis concept.

The deepening of democracy goes through stages like- decay, consolidation and maturity. Pakistan as a deep state, manages between authoritarianism and democratization since the beginning. With increasing emphasizes on Islamic state goals and military statecraft, Pakistan continued to face legitimation crisis and shrinking of public sphere, being a terror manufacturing state facilitating under military control thus has no connection to the liberal peace theses. While despite all the neo-liberal reforms, India has failed to create an inclusive society and over-bureaucratization of development that reflects how India doesn’t fit in liberal peace theses. In liberal peace theses, there is a presupposed rationalism required between two parties to maintain peace that is mostly missing between India-Pakistan.

He has argued how liberal peace theses fails to take following factors into consideration (thus fails to anlyze the South Asian region)- 1) Regime types, as a democracy can be procedural or consolidated or both based on the stage of democracy deepening it could have achieved; 2) Different nature of State, as while India focused on maintaining status quo, Pakistan continued to emphasize on escalation and reaching threshold; 3) State behavior, as the nature of peace and war gets determined by the behavior of states. The most important aspect of the book is the fact that author has attempted to redefine the concept of war as different from the conventional concept of war given by democratic peace theses. He argues that India-Pakistan war are not only conventional in nature, but also have remained sub-conventional that costed more casualties to both sides. The sub-conventional wars have been a result of both countries’ failure in nuclear deterrence.

The book concludes that the democracies in South Asia have gone through sub-conventional war consistently, most particularly between India-Pakistan making their equations as unsuitable to be analyzed by the democratic peace theses, despite being democracies. Their sub-conventional war involves multifaceted aspect of conflicts that involves- a) geopolitical factors due to contest and hostilities over the territory of Jammu and Kashmir, majorly seen as contest between the Westphalian and the primordialist conception of state; b) Ideological contestation between secularism and Islamic nationhood in the context of Jammu and Kashmir most particularly. c) The over acquisition of nuclear weapons by both countries reflects their contested terrain of power politics.

Weakness or Limits of the book:

The book is theoretically loaded with less empirical explanations, which requires a less advanced IR scholar or student to do two or more readings to understand the complex terminologies used in the book. It has given a fair explanation how liberal peace thesis has no application in the South Asian region, but has used only the case study of India-Pakistan relations. If the central argument opposes the generalization of democratic peace thesis in analyzing the relations between any democracies, then the counter-argument of the book should have used more examples before generalization the non-application of peace thesis in South Asia. The absence of enough empirical examples in comparison to theoretical arguments can limit the readership of the book.

How it is good for the IR students?

As mastery on theoretical analysis is a loosing trend among IR and foreign policy scholars. This book will lead the reader in the direction of conceptual clarity of not only democratic peace thesis and its critic neo-kantian cosmopolitan, but also the whole IR theoretical base. How every theory of IR views the anarchical nature of world order and suggest solutions, but not all solutions fit into the South Asian region. This means the analysis should consider the spatial and temporal aspects of a situation or case study as well. Sometimes a theory fits, sometimes doesn’t but following a particular spatio-temporal analysis derived majorly from Euro-American experience limits the scope of analyzing a regional of different spatial-temporal dimension like South Asia, which is full of its very unique kind of controversies and disputes around the issues of river water sharing, transborder migration, cross-border terrorism, diverse ethnic nationalities, and so on. 

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Politics of Pakistan: A Riot or an Opportunity

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On 14th August, 1947 Pakistan appeared on the world map as the largest independent Muslim state of that time. Sixty-five million people out of Ninety-five million population were Muslims. Despite of the shared religion of its majority, Pakistan is still struggling to build a national identity. Earlier, linguistic and cultural diversity were a hurdle but, in the Common Era political imbalance, rivalry and groupings left Pakistan with nothing but social, political and economic crisis with no future of stability.

Division of Sub-continent into India, West Pakistan and East Pakistan was a kick start to the largest demographic movement in history. Unfortunately, Muhammad Ali Jinnah died when Pakistan was less than a year old. The politics of Pakistan has not been less than a roller coaster ride. Till date the State has been ruled by 27 different Prime Ministers where some of them ruled twice and even thrice. Adding to that, the state has been under dictatorship four times since its independence. This political chaos has badly affected the economy of Pakistan. Not that Pakistan is a barren landlocked country with no reservoirs or no beneficial source to strengthen the economy, but, the political riot has played a vital role in paralyzing the social and economic bodies. Pakistan’s politicians have obediently followed the tradition of blame game since independence. Political representatives have always considered it necessary to blame the opponents for unstable environment in rather than being united against the state issues. The truth is that none of the political party could ever succeed in fulfilling the objectives of their five-year plan.

Due to sudden change of government, corruption, fragile institutions, the country’s economy suffered harsh weather. In 1980’s the economic growth was an impressive 6.3% which had a sharp decline during 1990’s and dropped to 4.9%. By the end of dictatorship the growth decelerated to 1.7% in 2008 and political instability accelerated to -2.4%. During the regime of PPP, the Nation succeeded in nothing but increase in economic instability, rise in corruption, inflation, and unemployment. PPP has set Karachi as a portrait of their inefficiency which the city witnesses every year during monsoon season. In 2013, the biggest political parties of Pakistan, PMLN and PTI fought the elections and undesirable results ended in a 126 days long dharna in the Capital of Pakistan with the inclusion of rallies, aggressive speeches and corruption cases against the opponents to hold them responsible and throw them out. The dramatic political unrest forced the country to lose hundreds of millions, foreign trust, foreign investment as well as paralyzing the Capital of the state. Nawaz Sharif was proven guilty and sent to jail, PMLN succeeded in making the institutions fool and Nawaz Sharif flew to the UK for medical treatment. In 2018, the ineligibility of Nawaz Sharif, Panama leaks and support of the number of people of the nation gave Imran Khan a chance to win the majority vote in National assembly. Forced to habit, the opposition instead of efficiently working with the government for the welfare of state, jointly formed PDM to demolish PTI’s government. Protests, long march, boycotts became the fate of Pakistan and which couldn’t affect the government much but, to lead to vote of no confidence in April, 2022 which resulted in Imran Khan’s removal. PTI blames PDM for joining hands with US in their regime change strategy. Even during PTI’s government, the instable economy was in the destiny of Pakistan. Currently, Shahbaz Sharif is the Prime Minister of the State and the economic conditions are nowhere near to a betterment; a total chaos.

The fake promises of every government has left the nation with nothing but empty bank accounts, economic collapse, inflation, extreme foreign debt, intolerance and extremism among its own people. The prime reason to every government’s failure is more or less their self- priorities. It was and is never about the betterment of state and its people but the authority, rivalry and seat. Every government without any discrimination focused on plans which would temporarily benefit the Nation during their tenure but, later due to huge foreign debt and IMF instructions, the country suffers inflation and hurdles in development of the country. Moreover, every new government finds the work of the former useless and terminate the projects, plans and policies initiated by them. This restricts the foreign investors from huge investments as more political instability leads to more economic deceleration.

Another huge drawback is that every government demands the state’s institutions to work their way, for example; the security departments’ ultimate duty is to protect the state from internal and external threats but what they do nowadays is to arrest the opponent leaders, raid their houses, protect red zone and blindly work under government’s thumb.

The biggest threat to Pakistan is its own poisonous politics. The political parties do not find their victory in providing the Nation with excellence and betterment but, the lust of power and hatred has forced the public to witness a psychotic political behavior. Election campaigns, days of protests in Islamabad, societal unrest and cyber-attacks have become a trend which has divided the Nation into groups.

Pakistan is on the verge of losing everything. IMF and other states have either denied or are delaying in providing aid to the country and the major reason is the political unrest but, a bitter reality is that politics cannot be ignored as it plays a prime role in connecting Pakistan on national and international levels. Political stability shall be the ultimate goal as it would help in formation of beneficial policies and would allow the institutions to work in a normal way which would only make Pakistan a healthy developed state. This 75th year and the years coming ahead can be good for Pakistan if elections are truly conducted on their time and the losing parties instead of creating a chaos, aids the ruling party in running the affairs of Pakistan smoothly.

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