Political Turmoil in Pakistan

Updated: Sep 13

Pakistan is a state of great disturbance, confusion, and uncertainty. Unfortunately, the lesson of 70 years old chequered constitutional and political history is that governments in Pakistan do not learn from history. The successive governments keep repeating the same mistakes and pushing the country deeper and deeper into the morass of scepticism and instability.


Pakistan's short history has been very turbulent. If a line is drawn from the beginning, we see the constitution collapsing many times, military rule, and its impositions with different democratic systems. Every military ruler has brought his brand of democracy; whether it was the 'basic democracy' of Ayub, the 'Islamic Democracy' of Zia, or the 'real democracy' of Musharraf. Pakistan has faced a bad fate in terms of terrorism, economic inflammation, weak foreign policy, and poverty since its establishment. With time, these problems have strengthened their roots and gradually started pulling the country towards destruction.


The system of democracy ostensibly given by the various constitutions of Pakistan has never been allowed to function smoothly. This, alone, is most alarming. Governments in power have been destabilized through intrigue and conspiracies. The opposition is accustomed to creating a storm in a cup of tea. Some moot points for political turmoil can be defined as:

  • After every general election, the outcome has been disputed to have lost, at the polls. This game has been an unbreakable strength of political parties in Pakistan.

  • Another element is Horse-trading which has been rampant and the loyalties of the lawmakers of parliament and provincial assemblies were openly brought and sold. Democratic values have always been counted for little.

  • The most critical and crucial characteristic is corruption which has virtually eaten the state structure of Pakistan. It is endemic throughout our government at all levels and its scale is outrageous. No poor and underprivileged country like Pakistan can afford to live with such a high degree of corruption.


The loans and funds obtained from the World bank and other financial institutions have greased the palms and fattened the pockets of military officials, politicians, and bureaucrats. It is no longer taboo for politicians to be corrupt. The naked truth is, that they come into power to make such laws that curtail their level of corruption and legalize ways of hiding black money.


Pakistan has been recently facing turmoil which has shown the worst image of politics. A government evolving after people's vote is seen as precarious. As history says, no government of Pakistan has completed its period. Every time any regime is established, it is likely to fall or collapse. For ages, the people of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan were given only two choices of political gangsters and rogues to mark their votes. The turnover in the general elections of 2013 was seen as a light at the end of the tunnel which the political parties should have used to re-establish a stable democratic government in the country. However, the rigging in the 2013 elections has vanished such hope.


Talking about the ballot box democracy, the saying of Stalin seems to be so true: 'It doesn't matter who votes or how many vote. What matters is who does the counting.’


Even now, nine years later, the political situation in the country is very turbulent. Pakistan has a new government as of April 11, after Imran Khan was ousted via a vote of no confidence. Pakistan Tahreek-e-Insaf repudiated the external interference in state matters and opted for upheaval. Khan started to gain public support and a revival started. Struggling with day-to-day campaigns PTI finally got the grip of the Country's most populated province – Punjab. Now, while the country is under Shahbaz Sharif's government – a three-time former chief minister of Punjab – the nation is in an economic and political crisis and is struggling to find its footing.


Khan has used his dismissal to galvanize his support and now after gaining full charge of Punjab it is likely, as per Insafians, they are about to regain hold of the federal government. Through rallies and interviews, Khan firmly holds the media's attention. His supporters, many of them young, middle class, and women are furious at what they see as Khan's organized unseating. He is calling for fresh elections, stating that his party could resign from Parliament With this narrative of disapproval of foreign interference and conspiracy, Khan aims to undermine Sharif's government. However, the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) has tightened up in their seats and are in no way leaving the charge of the country's administration. From April to July, the nation has watched a full series of political dramas and intrigue. This sequence is going to lead the future of Pakistan to nowhere substantial, perhaps only to some more failing governments and games of opposition will be grabbing strides. All the time and attention that has been wasted on non-issues and no attentive focus should be allotted to re-establishing Pakistan and its integrity. However, this is unlikely to happen any time soon. We will perhaps have to witness more of this game of cat and mouse.


Our lesson from history is that we do not learn from history. We are inclined to make similar negligences frequently. No wonder the problems are only becoming more and more acute with time.


 

Sara Liaqat is a student of law and a passionate writer who is excited to pen down the social and political issues of Pakistan and highlight them. Her profession gives her the strength to speak and write.

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