Who’s Next?

Jawaid IqbalNo nation can move forward without political stability. An all-time display of maturity and character from both the elected and non-elected leadership of a country tends to be the cornerstone of its long-term growth and economic development. As things emerged in the recent by-elections in Pakistan, the entire state machinery, led by Prime Minister Imran Khan himself, was deployed to counter the Opposition’s narrative by fair means or foul. The Opposition parties united on the platform of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) to fight the government, but only for their own good. It seems deals were made almost in the open (also known as horse-trading) and no one bothered. It is interesting to note that while Pakistan is a democracy and has a parliamentary system in place, in the midst of the vested confrontation and vendetta-ridden politics, the people of the Islamic Republic are nowhere to be seen.

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Other than his firebrand rhetoric, the body language of the Prime Minister per se has further stooped to lower levels. It seems that somehow he is not willing to climb down from the container he once used as a stage and performed a long sit-in to topple the government of the Pakistan Muslim League (N). The PDM represents a dichotomy of words and actions. It started its nationwide anti-government protests by pointing at the military for its alleged role in influencing the political affairs of the country. Despite boasting of its democratic credentials, within a few weeks, the Movement came up with interesting new slogans like ‘Aar Ya Paar’ (Mariam Nawaz) and ‘March in March’ (Bilawal Bhutto). This kind of word-smithry gave away the political immaturity of these young, self-appointed politicians or the people behind them. The suggestion was obvious that the Opposition was looking for a regime change, even by unconstitutional means. But good training in the arena of practical politics and sound grooming was nowhere visible. Mariam’s and Bilawal’s elders had been known for maintaining political mannerism and showing dignity despite all odds. The two may be the future leaders of Pakistan but they are unfortunately toeing a deceitful line right from the beginning. With absolutely no plan to steer the country out of its current crisis, how could they think of themselves as the saviours of the nation? The parties they represent are equally responsible for today’s dismal situation.

This ‘my way or the highway’ attitude, does not depict any concern for the future of the country or the plight of the people. They do not seem to have any sense of direction or vision for the nation. They want the present government to be merely wished away. They do not seem to have any room for voices of moderation, maturity in their attitudes and concrete direction for a stable, economically independent and forward-looking Pakistan. If and when they get rid of the ‘na ahl wazir e azam’, what and whom will they replace him with?


Syed Jawaid Iqbal
President & Editor in Chief