Ripple Effects: How US Elections Shape Pakistan’s Future

The nation is caught in a tumultuous struggle to extricate itself from a deep economic crisis, compounded by financial and administrative mismanagement.

As the world focuses on the upcoming American presidential elections scheduled for November, following closely on the heels of India’s elections, Pakistan grapples with its own internal challenges post-February elections. The nation is caught in a tumultuous struggle to extricate itself from a deep economic crisis, compounded by financial and administrative mismanagement. Over the past few years, the Muslim League government has been making strenuous efforts to stabilize the economy. However, the harsh decisions implemented in the national budget under the pressure and consultation of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have had widespread repercussions, triggering protests across nearly every sector of the country.

The economic hardships faced by the common man in Pakistan have intensified dramatically. In a bid to conserve energy, companies are resorting to load shedding from 9 PM to 8 AM, a situation where the Prime Minister has directed that load shedding should end by 6 AM. This measure, however, has brought little relief to the public, who are further burdened by rising petrol prices and continuous hikes in electricity and gas rates due to the lack of government control. The government attributes these decisions to the necessity of fulfilling IMF conditions but has struggled to address the burgeoning problems faced by the nation. Almost every sector of society feels the impact, and the general populace has voiced their dissatisfaction through widespread protests and strikes.

In these trying times, the significant increase in terrorist incidents has added to the nation’s woes. Supported by India and Afghanistan, these terrorists aim to derail the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project. In response, Pakistan launched Operation Destabilization against these elements. However, this move drew criticism from the US Congress, which passed a resolution against Pakistan’s recent elections. This resolution highlights the ongoing campaign by a political party in Pakistan, which, after losing power, continues to criticize national institutions, seemingly with US backing. This interference from the US Congress has been viewed as an unwelcome intrusion into Pakistan’s domestic affairs.

The US resolution is perceived as blatant interference in Pakistan’s internal affairs. This sentiment was echoed in the National and Provincial Assemblies, where members passed a resolution condemning the US interference and reaffirming the patriotism of the Pakistani people. It is no secret that certain political figures in Pakistan have received support from India, the US, and Israel over the years, with foreign money flowing freely during election campaigns. The US Congress is well aware that its country’s policies regarding democratic governments are often tainted, as evidenced by its historical support for non-democratic regimes and processes. This situation raises questions about the true motives behind US involvement in Pakistan’s electoral politics.

The upcoming US elections are also marked by controversy, with former President Donald Trump casting doubts on the transparency of the electoral process. Trump has openly stated that if he does not win the November elections, it will spell trouble for the country, suggesting potential unrest. During a rally in Ohio last March, he asserted that if he loses, there will be no re-election, emphasizing the significance of November 5th in US history. Trump’s allegations of election rigging by radical left Democrats in the 2020 elections continue to resonate, with promises to prevent similar occurrences in 2024. This rhetoric not only stirs domestic political tensions but also has international implications, especially for nations like Pakistan, closely watching US political developments.

The Pakistani-American community, numbering over 1.2 million, is deeply invested in these elections. President Joe Biden’s strong support for Israel has drawn sharp criticism from the Muslim community in the US, which generally opposes Israeli aggression. In contrast, Donald Trump has expressed dissatisfaction with Israel’s actions against Palestine, terming them sad. Regardless of who wins the election, be it Biden or Trump, the new US administration will face significant foreign policy challenges. These include Russia’s aggression, China’s economic challenges, ongoing violence in the Middle East, and the situations in Afghanistan and Kashmir. The handling of these issues will not only shape global geopolitics but also affect Pakistan’s strategic environment.

Some in Pakistan speculate that a Trump victory could usher in major political changes in the country. However, the current government remains stable and focused on overcoming foreign pressure to stabilize democracy and improve economic conditions. To achieve this, it is imperative that both the federal and provincial governments establish their authority and implement effective measures. Only through such steps can issues like inflation, street crime, and overall economic instability be controlled, providing much-needed relief to the Pakistani populace.

Ultimately, the intertwining political dynamics of the US and Pakistan reflect a complex web of domestic and international challenges. As Pakistan navigates its economic crises and deals with regional security threats, the outcomes of the US elections will undoubtedly play a role in shaping its future. It is crucial for Pakistan to bolster its internal stability and sovereignty to effectively address its myriad challenges. The path forward requires a concerted effort from the government and all sectors of society to ensure a resilient and prosperous future amidst a rapidly evolving global landscape.

Sahibzada M. Usman, Ph.D.
Sahibzada M. Usman, Ph.D.
Research Scholar and Academic; Ph.D. in Political Science at the University of Pisa, Italy. Dr. Usman has participated in various national and international conferences and published 30 research articles in international journals. Email: usmangull36[at]gmail.com