POLITICS IN PAKISTAN
A Perfect Storm
Ever since its creation, Pakistan has been facing many problems of which chronic political instability is the most significant – and perhaps the most devastating one. In our country, politics has always been a domain of the elite as most of the politicians come from well-to-do families. A common man with an ordinary background cannot even think of entering politics. I say this with a heavy heart that even after a terrible calamity like flood, our politicians are bickering over dirty politics instead of helping the victims of this catastrophic calamity.
At present, Pakistan is mired in multiple crises: a deflating economy, soaring inflation and a nearly-stagnant political system. This is why Pakistan’s sovereign credit rating has been downgraded by Moody’s by one notch further into junk territory to Caa1 from B3. with a blistering statement, saying the country’s ability to afford its own debt is one of the weakest among the sovereigns that the rating agency deals with. “The floods have exacerbated Pakistan’s liquidity and external credit weaknesses and vastly increase social spending needs, while government revenue is severely hit,” a statement issued by the international body read.
For the past few months, the state of affairs in Pakistan has become similar to a battlefield. Politics has become a fatal game in our country and politicians are playing with the emotions of the people that follow them. Prominent members of all political parties are busy in mudslinging. Due to this political turmoil, the people of Pakistan are becoming mentally sick.
People are already grappling with biting issues like high inflation, unemployment and natural disasters. Deteriorating political conditions have added fuel to the fire of their miseries. With skyrocketing prices of daily-use items, people are suffering from depression and many have committed suicide. In addition to this, street crime is also on an upward trajectory due to rising unemployment.
Pakistan is under the strong clutches of political turbulence. “Dharnas” and long marches have worsened the situation in the country; not only the education system is being disrupted but the lives of the poor labourers and daily-wagers are also being badly affected. Politicians who fight with the slogan of helping poor people are ironically squeezing the blood of the poor people. It seems they have forgotten what John Adams, USA’s founding father who served as the second president of the country from 1797 to 1801, had rightly said, “Government is instituted for the common good, for the protection, safety, prosperity and happiness of the people; and not for the profit, honour, or private interest of any one man, family or class of men.”
This was one side of the picture. But, if we look at the other side of that picture, we find that with the worsening political situation in the country, law and order has become a distant dream. In acts of political violence and the ensuing riots, many people fall prey to death or to a life-long disability while the country’s infrastructure, on the other hand, is also destroyed. Many police officials, too, lose their lives in the line of duty.
Here a critical question the people of Pakistan want an answer to is: how long will this continue? How long will innocent people continue to lose their lives and become a fuel in the fight of political interests of the elite? They are not ready to think that their petty politics will ruin the future of many people and the country’s image in the world comity of nations will also be tarnished. With much sadness, if the situation persists, Pakistan may face such a heavy blow that it will not be possible to recover from that.
It is fair to say that the current political situation in Pakistan is in dire need of substantial reform. Political parties of our country are totally unaware of their real objectives. To steer the country towards prosperity, development and success, it is mandatory for the political parties to draw up their real objectives. Political stability in Pakistan cannot be ensured simply through intra-elite deals made in Islamabad. It also requires improving the last mile of governance and responsiveness of the state to the needs of the public.
The writer is a student of LLB.