Politics is entering a difficult phase. Despite the calamity that has befallen the country, stakeholders are ready to make an impact. The coalition government, which rules with a slim majority in parliament, seems unsure how to move forward as it faces daunting flood rehabilitation tasks and an economy that is showing no signs of slowing down. no sign of stability. The fall of the rupee and exports have disconcerted growth, and the country is literally plunged into socio-political chaos. The street policy of the PTI goes even further. Former Prime Minister Imran Khan plans to launch a final phase of agitation to unseat the federal waiver to seek new elections.
The postponement of by-elections on vacant seats in three provinces, simultaneously, has sparked a new political debate. The PTI believes this is the result of the government’s adamant attitude of not providing political space for the opposition, and it argues that the ruling clique fears its popularity. Likewise, a new phase of blame is underway as the Electoral Commission comes under fire for arbitrarily postponing polls. The PTI says the postponement of the by-elections was a ploy as none of the constituencies are stagnant due to flooding. As the opposition contemplates a long march to Islamabad, things are likely to get weirder and could lead to more instability and lawlessness.
The government is nevertheless seized of an important decision to be taken and which concerns the appointment of the next army chief. With Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa expected to retire his uniform by the end of November, the choice of the next incumbent has become a public debate. This element has given a new impetus to the policy, because a diatribe of analyzes unnecessarily aggravates the political mosaic. Public officials should refrain from commenting on constitutional offices, especially those related to the armed forces, as their nomenclature of appointments and promotions is one of the best professionally ordered in Pakistan.
Pakistan urgently needs a political dialogue and that too with particular emphasis on what lies ahead. The country has experienced enough instability and degeneration in all walks of life. Tackling economic problems must be high on the agenda to relieve the masses from the bite of inflation and depreciation. Politics is a matter of public service, and simply playing the gallery by promising welfare and lecturing on good governance does the nation a disservice. It’s time to look at the steps and follow the example.
Published in L’Express Tribune, September 11e2022.