Pakistan’s  Political  Crisis:  Hope  and  Fear?

Pakistan is going through a serious political crisis fueled by the ousting of the PTI regime and the placement of the PML (N) government supported by PPP and JUI (F) among others.  Although this change was brought about through democratic process by a vote of no confidence in the National Assembly but has become controversial due to several factors.   Firstly, the ousted Prime Minister insists that his removal was due to pressure from America. He conveyed to all the relevant stakeholders, including the people of Pakistan that an American diplomat had threatened the Ambassador of Pakistan to America that if the vote of no-confidence against Mr. Imran Khan (which hadn’t materialized by that time) was not successful that Pakistan may face problems and all will be forgiven if it is successful.  The details of this meeting were shared by way of a cipher with the Foreign Office and the reality of this cipher had been endorsed in a way by the National Security Committee of Pakistan. Then denied.  Despite that Mr. Imran Khan was removed from office and a new regime was put in its place.  Secondly, most of the new regime comprises members on bail from the court including the Prime Minister and his son. Both the majority holding parties PPP and PML (N) have serious allegations of corruption against them and lost the confidence of the people due to their corruption and failure to deliver on promises.  Another reason is Mr. Imran Khan’s decisions, in Pakistan’s national interest, not allowing the US to have bases on Pakistani soil, not taking a stance against Russia in the matter of the Ukraine war, not recognizing Israel, and trying to make a deal with Russia for cheaper oil in local currency.   All these matters were in line with public sentiment and interest and therefore the growing belief that Mr. Imran Khan was ousted due to American pressure has considerably hurt the public sentiment. It is also believed that this government is put in place to accept all American demands including accepting Israel as a country.  After his ouster, Mr. Imran Khan launched a campaign for early elections, held public protests (Jalsas) in all the major cities of Pakistan, and gained a large amount of public support.   Mr. Imran Khan’s long march on May 25, 2022, was attended by a large number of protesters who were dealt with in the most horrible way possible, and obstacles were placed, tear gas and rubber bullets were used to stop them from reaching Islamabad but this strategy failed miserably. Ever since Mr. Khan’s popularity has grown exponentially, particularly among the middle class, and the government decisions such as the appointment of Ishaq Dar, who had fled the country after being charged with corruption, as finance minister after adding fuel to fire.  The current perception is that the institutions of Pakistan are being pressured by foreign powers to accept the corrupt and incompetent political leaders of PPPP and PML (N). This idea is not sitting well with the public. The most alarming scenario is that the people have completely lost faith in some institutions, something which favors the enemies of Pakistan. It is a perception that the current government comprises the most corrupt and incompetent people and this perception can not change despite all efforts, thanks to the social media revolution in Pakistan.  The other problem is that Imran Khan himself is not competent to rule and even capable selecting his team and capable as good opposition leader. He did not take timely decision when in government nor when he is in opposition, but playing with the sentiments of the people.    The current situation is grim in Pakistan as it seems that the American agenda under the Col. Ralph Peter plan has been put into motion. This plan seeks to formulate greater Israel in this region and break other regional powers like Turkey, Pakistan Iran, into smaller countries. Pakistan needs to realize the grim situation that the country is in, and should ensure that it is on the right side of the game to avoid being harmed. Pakistan’s institutions, especially our military institution, should realize rise to the occasion and address the concerns of Pakistan’s citizens.  Our military institutions should realize that they must not only protect the territorial boundaries of Pakistan but also the ideological boundaries as well. The way Pakistan’s matters are being handled currently is extremely troubling and is indicative of something much more sinister and our institutions need to take solid measures to avoid a disaster.

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