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Was there a US-backed regime change in Pakistan?

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A US-sponsored regime change is hardly new, and it does not take a student of history to cite examples of such transgressions. Guatemala, Congo, China, Libya, Palestinian Territories, Dominican Republic, Afghanistan, Cuba, Iraq, Iran, Panama, Bolivia, and Poland are just a few countries where the US has interfered in the past. The Washington Post asserts that the “US tried to change other countries’ governments 72 times during the Cold War”. Purportedly, the most recent example of a US machination was in the ouster of Pakistan’s Imran Khan from premiership. And while the US State Department has denied any involvement – naturally – let us examine exactly what transpired in Pakistan, that has led to such strong suspicions of connivance or interference, US-backed or not.

The US and the Letter-gate Scandal

Imran Khan’s government was toppled via a vote of no confidence on 9 April 2022. This could have been a huge victory for democracy in Pakistan, as Imran Khan became the first PM to be ousted via a vote of no confidence. However, since the whole process was tainted by the letter-gate scandal, democracy is under fire again. The letter-gate scandal involves a threatening letter that Khan waved to his hundreds of thousands of supporters in Islamabad several weeks ago. He stated that the vote of no confidence, that had been brought in motion by the old guard of Pakistani politics [i.e. the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan’s People’s Party (PPP) etcetera – collectively known as the Pakistani Democratic Movement (PDM)] was in fact backed by a foreign power. Before even tabling the motion, the PDM had allegedly already begun buying PTI-dissident MNAs to ensure the success of the vote (details ahead).

As time passed, more light was shed on the obfuscated letter. The foreign power was revealed to be the US, and the threat was allegedly made by Donald Lu, a US diplomat focusing on South and Central Asia, to Pakistan’s then-ambassador to the US. The threat delineated that if the vote of no-confidence against Imran Khan fails, serious repercussions for Pakistan will follow. Oddly, though, this conversation between the two diplomats took place on March 7th, while the opposition tabled the vote of no-confidence on the 8th of March – the suspicious timing raising the eyebrows of the PTI government, and the informed masses. Imran Khan later brought the letter to the National Security Committee (NSC) – which includes the PM, 4 service chiefs, DG ISI, as well cabinet members. The committee endorsed the letter by stating that there was “blatant interference in the internal affairs of Pakistan by the country in question”. Donald Lu did not reject the conversation when he was asked by a journalist in India, but the State Department has rejected the allegations.

It was also alleged by the then-government that America was irked with Imran Khan’s tour of Russia despite Khan’s repeated claims that he wanted to avoid bloc politics and keep good relations with all countries. Moreover, it is assumed Imran Khan’s Pakistan-first propensities and his resolve to have an independent foreign policy were to the chagrin of the US.

As days went by, it was a common perception that besides the PDM, the media, and judiciary wanted Khan’s ouster as well. However, Imran Khan’s narrative of a foreign plot being implemented by internal actors to oust him gained massive traction, and renewed his waning popularity. In other words, it was Imran Khan (and the public) vs the PDM/West (a rigged and corrupt system) in the eyes of the nation. This kind of narrative is still popular, and on social media, Pakistanis are berating individuals and institutions that they think had a hand in removing Imran Khan.

The PDM

The PDM’s actions perhaps elevated suspicions the most. As already, mentioned, the threatening letter was received on March 7th, 2022 according to the PTI government, and the PDM tabled the no-confidence vote on the 8th. Imran Khan subsequently brought the letter to the public’s awareness weeks later, on the 27th of March, during his rally in Islamabad. Let us examine what was materializing in Islamabad when Imran Khan had not yet revealed the letter.

During this time, the PDM had allegedly begun bribing sitting PTI-MNAs with money and seats for the next election. 12 PTI-MNAs had gone missing and later were found at Sindh House in the hands of the opposition. One of the dissidents, Raja Riaz, gave an interview where he said he would contest the next election using a PML-N platform. The interviewer grilled him on not resigning first, since his statement made it appear as if he is dissenting due to a promised potential seat in the next election. Later these MNAs were allegedly hidden in a hotel in Islamabad by PDM officials. Supposedly, there is CCTV footage showcasing the same, which the premier was aware of and he alluded to the same during his rallies.

Other peculiarities involved the meeting of PDM leaders and dissenting PTI-MNAs with US diplomats. Imran Khan has been vocal about this fact in his rallies. This report of several meetings was not only given to the PM but later reported by ARY’s Arshad Sharif (the video has close to a million views). The report stated that on 16 February 2022, dissenting PTI-MNA Noor Alam met with American diplomat Peter Joseph in Islamabad. Furthermore, William K. Makaneole, American Consul General in Lahore met with many PML-N and PPP politicians, and also met dissenting PTI heavyweight Aleem Khan on 7th March 2022. American political officer, Andrea Hillyer, met with PDM officials as well as Raja Riaz, a dissenting PTI-MNA. Other meetings of note include Makaneole’s meeting with Hamza Shahbaz (son of current Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif) on 3rd March 2022, and the American Consul General in Karachi Mark Stroh’s meeting with PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto on 24th February. He also met with MQM officials, and MQM which was a PTI-ally at the time, later joined the PDM in support of the no-confidence vote.

Another point of peculiarity was during the time Imran Khan endeavored to reveal the letter to all members of the National Assembly, as well as the Chief Justice of Pakistan. The scandal’s magnitude was such that this exertion by Khan should have been met with open arms by the opposition – especially if their leaders had nothing to fear. Moreover, Khan proclaimed that the letter was proof of foreign interference and a threat to the sovereignty of the Nation – which should have brought all parties together. Unfortunately (and suspiciously) however, they avoided the government’s call for an in-house camera session on a few occasions. The new PM Shahbaz Sharif has stated however that he is willing to probe into the letter via an in-house camera session but whether this is mere rhetoric to placate public animosity, time will tell.

The Pakistani Media

The Pakistani media does not enjoy a good repute generally, with many media tycoons and journalists being lax when it comes to journalistic standards and bribes. Imran Khan, unlike his predecessors, however, did not believe in bribing or providing exorbitant government advertisements to media channels and anchors. This allowed his political opponents to use Pakistan’s sprawling media ecosystem against him. His personal life was repeatedly brought into the public discourse, and any missteps the government made would lead to his demonization constantly. Imran Khan’s wife, who has only done one interview in her life, and is an extremely private person, was frequently rebuked by the media and politicians using invalidated claims. While the entire blame cannot be pinned on the media (as Imran Khan’s government did make its fair share of economic and PR-related blunders) it was clear that most of the Pakistani media, that was once on the PTI bandwagon, had now abandoned him. Anchors like Saleem Safi, Hamid Mir, Najam Sethi spewed anti-Imran venom perennially, and barring a few media channels like ARY (considered pro-PTI), they were all after his blood.

Unsurprisingly then, during the letter-gate scandal, many anchors downplayed the threatening letter and implied that it was a futile attempt by the then-premier to hold on to power. There must have been some sort of humiliation felt by such media personnel when the NSC endorsed the veracity of the letter but such elements found other ways to undermine Khan.

During the impending vote of no-confidence, things became chaotic. The few anchors who favored Imran Khan were met with media blackouts. Imran Riaz Khan, an ardent supporter of Imran Khan, who was an extremely popular anchor on Samaa TV, was removed from his post. Samaa TV was recently bought by Aleem Khan, a former close aide of Mr. Imran Khan, who joined the PTI dissidents and supported the no-confidence vote. Imran Riaz Khan alluded to his firing from Samaa News on his YouTube Channel but remained adamant that it was a small sacrifice since he was on the right side of history. He has also stated (after Khan was ousted) that there were murmurings that he and other perceived pro-PTI journalists might be arrested. Another prominent journalist, Maleeha Hashmi was fired from her anchor position from Public News. She Tweeted “Public News has OFF AIRED me because I REFUSED to ATTACK #ImranKhan & Defend the Culprits of the Nation”. Furthermore, the house of Dr. Arsalan Khalid, the focal person for PTI’s digital media, was raided by unidentified persons and his family’s phones were confiscated. PTI strongly condemned this but the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), who were always very active in admonishing any media-related transgressions during PTI’s tenure, were oddly silent when all these offenses were happening. There are reports also that the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has begun a crackdown on many social activists as well due to the overwhelming support for Imran Khan.

Pakistan’s Twitter has been full of pro-Imran Khan, anti-judiciary, and anti-institution sentiments. Although Imran Khan has refrained from attacking any institution and has pleaded to people to not undermine Pakistan’s institutions, the mass perception among the average Pakistani is that internal actors have helped throw Imran Khan’s government out via a foreign plot. Pakistan’s top Twitter trends include #Imported_Government_Unacceptable (in Urdu) with over 5 million tweets. The same Tweet was number 1 in other countries with a sizeable Pakistani diaspora such as the UAE, and also peaked at #2 worldwide on the 9th of April. Other Tweets that made it to the top with hundreds of thousands of tweets included pejorative hashtags against Pakistan’s judiciary, media, and PDM officials.

The Judiciary

Amidst the horse-trading and letter-gate scandal, the judiciary dominated the airwaves. Pakistan’s then-President filed a reference to the Supreme Court to review Article 63(A), which they hoped would allow for a permanent disqualification of dissenting PTI-MNAs. It had been weeks, and even after the exodus of Imran Khan’s government, no decision has been made. Conversely, the Supreme Court took immediate suo moto action on a holiday, when PTI’s deputy speaker ruled out voting on the no-confidence motion due to the foreign letter, and the assemblies were dissolved. This ‘biased’ attitude of the SC angered the public. The lack of response to PTI’s reference of Article 63(A), vs the prompt suo moto of the speaker’s actions spoke volumes. Vis-à-vis the suo moto, the PTI government argued that the Constitution under Article 69 protects the NA and its members from judicial proceedings but the SC saw it contrarily. Furthermore, the Supreme Court’s decision not only arrived expeditiously, but more shockingly, it completely ignored the letter, the very essence of the case. The SC found the deputy speaker’s ruling unconstitutional and reversed the dissolution. A dispirited Imran Khan accepted the decision of the SC, but expressed consternation over the letter being overlooked. The controversy did not end here. Although some commentators heralded the SC’s decision, others were shocked how the Supreme Court overstepped its authority by micromanaging the NA’s business. It ordered the NA to convene on the 9th of April and conduct the vote of no confidence – and even gave a schedule of proceedings. The SC’s micromanaging started a debate in the public discourse regarding the disregard for the sovereignty of the NA. Citizens stated that the SC could have placated the nation’s animosity if they had at least ordered a probe into the merits of the letter.

On 9th April, when the NA was ordered to hold the vote of no-confidence, the speaker assured everyone that the vote will be carried out, but the government initiated delaying tactics by initiating a debate. The opposition stated that they would stay in the NA until the court orders were fulfilled. Close to midnight, when the ‘crime’ had not yet happened,the Supreme Court and Islamabad High Court’s doors miraculously opened – perhaps for the first time in the country’s history. The Chief Justice and other justices made their way to the court, and the implication was that if the government did not conduct the vote before midnight, it would be considered a contempt of court. This could mean substantial jail time and disbarment for PTI officials, and maybe even disqualification of Imran Khan in the next elections. All eyes were glued to TV and mobile screens as people had no idea what would happen. As the dust settled, the anger over the Supreme Court’s culpability grew, as people perceived the opening of courts at odd hours and on declared holidays to make decisions detrimental to PTI as a conspiracy. The masses called foul and took to social media to berate the SC’s moves, saying that justice for rape, murder, and other heinous cases should also be given with the same urgency as was shown with regards to the ousting of Imran Khan.

Conclusion

Pakistanis have come out over the alleged foreign machination aided by internal actors en masse. Imran Khan has begun his string of rallies and is planning to capture more momentum as he demands early elections. The current hodgepodge government of the PDM has many economic and political hurdles to overcome but their biggest hurdle is a renewed Imran Khan, who ironically they helped reinvigorate. The ex-PTI government is still discussing the letter in their rallies, and is adamant that they have been ousted because of foreign interference. Many Pakistanis are wholeheartedly accepting this narrative at home and abroad, and it does not take much to notice why. In the last few weeks of Imran Khan’s government, the average Pakistani perceives that the West, PDM, dissident PTI-MNAs, the media, and judiciary all colluded together to deseat the premier – and it is not surprising why they would think this. Currently, Imran Khan is seen as a lone wolf who stood against US hegemony. He is the one that said “absolutely not” if the US were to ask for military bases. He is the one the public saw as being able to stand his ground against US pressures. One cannot claim for sure that there was a foreign conspiracy at the back of all this – but given the US’ harrowing past of regime change – and Pakistan’s pre-Imran Khan yes-man inclinations, would it be that surprising?

Sarmad Ishfaq is an independent researcher and writer whose work has been published by Harvard Kennedy School Review, the Diplomat, Open Democracy, Paradigm Shift, Mondoweiss, and Eurasia Review to name a few. He has also been published by several international peer-reviewed journals such as Taylor and Francis' Social Identities. Before becoming an independent writer, he worked as a research fellow for the Lahore Center for Peace Research. He has a master's degree in International Relations from the University of Wollongong in Dubai where he was recognized as the 'Top Graduate'.

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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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