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Writing on the Wall

Is Pakistan headed towards further chaos? The coming times are pregnant with possibilities.

By Dr. Farah Naz | May 2022

April 10, 2022 - a date to be remembered in the political history of Pakistan. It has changed various perceptions and people’s perspectives about state institutions. After a long blame game, raising controversial stories and unveiling state institutions, Imran Khan met the same fate of leaving the government. It was an unprecedented move when, for the first time in the political history of Pakistan, Prime Minister Imran Khan was ousted from power after losing a no-confidence vote. To date, not a single prime minister has ever completed a full five-year parliamentary tenure in Pakistan.

However, he seems to have left behind a cult following that mostly comprises youth and educated people. For them, Imran Khan alone has created a legacy of resistance and defiance against the powers that be, whether local or international. If this is true, how will this mass perception impact the future course of action in Pakistan’s politics? Will this popular opinion have a make-or-break impact on general elections? Will it redefine the limits of the functioning of the Judiciary, the Parliament, the Establishment, Administration and Media? Will it bring coherence or chaos?

To answer all of these questions, it is important to reflect on the political term of the Imran Khan government. He is a popular leader but due to his misgovernance and bad economic management, he was losing his popularity. Sustained policies were required to overcome the financial burden of the state and drag it out of economic insecurity but with frequent changes, it was not possible. One cannot deny the fact that the state faced issues related to the pandemic. Though the pandemic was handled well, economic challenges associated with it were poorly managed. Imran required potential and suitable manpower to deal with the issues skillfully but he failed.

Another serious blunder was his team going into the IMF program. The conditions of the IMF program were the harshest ever in the history of Pakistan, especially it had a fragile economy. The PKR experienced a free fall, interest rates skyrocketed, utility prices shot up, and life became unaffordable and painful. As a result, Imran’s popularity nose-dived. People were disappointed in his policies and weak government. Overall, he failed to keep his promises of punishing the corrupt that happened to be his pre-election mantra. But he lost the local bodies election in KP and was bound to lose the next general election.

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3 thoughts on “Writing on the Wall

  • May 1, 2022 at 12:59 am

    I beg to disagree on the governance failure of PTI govt . Media and opposition built this false perception . The 3.5 ur govt performed exceptionally well on every front despite initial economic issues and Covid . Also there is no mention of Foreign Policy adopted by Imran Khan . It too certainly did not heed well in the international community . There was extreme pressure internationally and this gave momentum to combined opposition , floor crossing and use of money to bring down IK govt .

  • May 1, 2022 at 3:13 am

    An interesting op-ed by Farah Naz. The author has given her opinion and insight of the political scene created by the ouster of PTI government through a no confidence vote. It seems that she is also of the view that state institutions ganged up against IK’s government to overthrow it and that too in a haste. In the end, the writer has suggested what the PTI has been demanding ever since their ouster to hold an early fair and free elections. What led to this unceremonious exit of PTI from the ruling echelons of the government was not unconstitutional. As PTI government earlier survived a vote of no confidence against chairman senate, it had expected that this time around the same invisible hand will help them survive this no confidence motion. But this time around the invisible hand did not move to help in support of IK government (because of Usman Buzdar in Punjab and a few issues at federal level postings) and let it fall not expecting or fully calculating that it can result in consequences in shape of such a massive public outburst in support of IK in major cities and accross the globe and that too in the month of Ramazan. Now, it has to be seen if the institutions especially Election Commission, which is already hearing the foreign funding case on daily basis, scumbs to the public pressure created by the IK rallies to announce an election date within this year. Let’s see how this political drama unfolds in the month of May. The sooner the political canvas of Pakistan gets out of the clouds the better for country.

  • May 1, 2022 at 8:44 am

    The change in public perceptions have been well orchestrated spontaneously by Imran Khan in three public outings including kci & Lahore & stunned all stake holders. The impact on phase II of KPK local bodies elections has gone in PTI favour.& IK narrative has been well recieved. Since his ouster Imran Khan is looking more dangerous & putting more pressure on this system, only adding more chaos with every possible day. The fair & early elections will be the only solution to bring normalacy & stability in this chaos now. The earlier the better for the country.