Long March to Nowhere
There is a dire need to have a domestic political stability and sanity in the country in place of pursuing a self-serving political agenda. The enemy is on the watch and an obvious repercussion of a destabilized political environment could emerge in the form of more terrorist attacks, sponsored by New Delhi and international powerhouses.
No governance system in the world is better than democracy in which people set rules for themselves and a consensual-based society is formed to embark on a prosperous path. However, the democracy in Pakistan has had a chequered record as out of almost 75 years of the country’s existence, it has put disparate government systems to the test, including parliamentary and presidential democracy, military dictatorship or martial law. Playing around with different forms of government, the vulnerable security situation of Pakistan is often cited as the perceived reason for the country because of its geostrategic position, confronting myriads of security threats and challenges. Along its Eastern border, India has been in its perpetual enmity with Pakistan due to the long-festering Kashmir dispute. Along the western borders, the presence of Afghanistan and Iran poses continuous security challenges to Pakistan. Afghanistan, which has been in a shambles for many decades because of intermittent war imposed by global powers, has had severe effects on Pakistan too, dragging it into war without its consent. Iran has also been using Pakistani soil for its proxies against Saudi Arabia.
Such threats as mentioned above have virtually kept Islamabad increasingly engaged in mitigating the security challenges confronting the country at the cost of putting its much-needed economic growth on the back burner. For their strategic interests, international powers have been asserting their political influence coupled with economic affluence to install their chosen people in the government in Pakistan to advance their hidden agenda. There have been reports that foreign powers have been funnelling money into Pakistan’s political parties and their associated entities to bring them at the helm. Different political parties, thus, have been calling each other ‘traitors’ and security risks. Even honourable Māder-e-Millat Fatima Jinnah, the younger sister of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, was once labelled as a traitor.
With an uneven political climate ever since its independence, Pakistan is one those countries where democracy has not been able to have a field day. For instance, none of the democratically elected governments in Pakistan finished their 5-year term, except the last two regimes of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and the Pakistan Muslim League- Nawaz (PML-N).
In Pakistan, yet another democratically chosen government, namely the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) led by cricketer turned politician Imran Khan, is under threat of getting derailed. In 2018, the PTI came to power with much fanfare and Imran Khan, who was the most popular celebrity widely known for his charity work and for his presumed honesty, has miserably failed to deliver, despite his tall claims and quixotic promises to the people. Prime Minister Imran Khan, often referred to as a ‘Selected Prime Minister’ by the Opposition, comprising the PPP, the PML-N and the JUI-F (Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl), was not welcomed to the country’s premiership. From day one, the Opposition parties were sceptical about Imran Khan’s commitment to putting the corrupt politicians behind bars to recover the ill-gotten money they had earned and stashed in their foreign bank accounts.
Prof. Dr. Ahmed Saeed Minhas is Pro-Vice-Chancellor and faculty member at DHA Suffa University in Karachi. He is an expert in strategic and security issues and frequently writes for international and local journals, magazines, and newspapers. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org