Bani Gala

Now or Never

Pakistan cannot afford any more delay in holding the general elections as such an unjust hold-up will go down in history with a bad name.

By Dr. Farah Naz | January 2023

When Imran Khan came to power in 2018, it was quite a challenging situation facing Pakistan due to prevailing political and economic insecurities. In the same term, the country struggled with the onset of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic and dealing with the disastrous health crisis was a real test. Led by Prime Minister Imran Khan, the previous government of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) did manage the Covid-19 pandemic far better than many other developed countries. In that period, the opposition parties, united on the platform of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), continued their anti-government rhetoric, which is part and parcel of democratic norms and values. However, things started deteriorating in early February 2022 when the noise of ‘No Confidence Motion’ took an ominous turn. Although the vote of no confidence is a constitutional as well as democratic right, the people behind the no-confidence motion resorted to rampant horse-trading and unfair means, and the way it started shaping up made the future of democracy in the country uncertain.

Though a petition was filed in the Supreme Court against the blatant sale/purchase of the parliamentarians, the Supreme Court decided to remain in the background and act as a mute spectator. Though the decision, which came from the Supreme Court, said, ‘Those who will cross the floor their votes will not be counted.’ However, had this delayed decision been taken on time Pakistan would not have faced the type of political destabilization it is facing today.

Since then, the print, digital and social media platforms are flooded with heated discussions on snap elections in Pakistan. Should Pakistan go for early elections to bring about political stability and pull the economy out of crisis? To find an appropriate answer to this question, it is crucial to highlight what is happening in the country and why.

If we reflect on the past 9-10 months, we can easily find that the country is at a standstill. There is no development going on any front. Both national and multinational companies are reluctant to start new business ventures in Pakistan. When it comes to state prosperity and development, political instability is the mother of all evils, and in this tense and politically unstable environment like ours, it is next to impossible to begin new business.

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