Apocalyptic Scenario

Jawaid IqbalBy the look of on-going political impasse in the country, Pakistan stands betwixt and between. The current regime, led by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, is still in a state of denial to deem it necessary to hold early elections. In marked contrast, Imran Khan, former prime minister and chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), is fixated on exploiting any room for manoeuvre to make early polls a reality. To preserve the spirit of the Constitution, the judiciary has expectedly come forward to decide those electoral matters that primarily fall under the purview of the Federal Cabinet and the Parliament. To make matters worse, all such things are taking place during the worst economic crisis since the country’s formation in 1947 together with the rising scourge of terrorism, which is raising its ugly head once again.

Slander, mud-slinging and apportioning blames to one another, not to exclude the blatant misuse of power to target political opponents, what else is now left to inflict more harm to a country ranked at the lowest extreme in terms of GDP, human development index and the rest of the related indices that characterise a modern and progressive state. Even no effort has now been spared to vilify top institutions like judiciary and army for all the perceived wrongdoings committed in the political history of the country since its creation. Of late, the resignation of the chairman of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has emerged as yet another fatal blow to the credibility and transparency of the current regime, which looks more concerned with clinging to the status quo in order to dawdle and buy some more time to be in the saddle and evade the electoral wrath of the general public in the fullness of time. Notwithstanding the fact that the economy has gone to the dogs and hyperinflation is at its peak amidst worsening law and order situations, Pakistan, as it seems, has been encircled by a full-blown ‘crisis of chaos’ with no end in sight in the years to come. The Pakistani rupee is losing its value day by day, which is not only adding to the country’s foreign debt but also burdening its poverty-stricken people with more taxes, unceasing price hike, hence more hardship. The mini-budget is loaded with unbearable taxes, subsidy cuts and skyrocketing gas and electricity tariffs. It speaks volumes of the imminent disaster befalling on us in a more ferocious and inhuman form. And come to think of it, a rapidly growing population of over 231 million with the world’s second highest number of out-of-school children, coupled with an ever-increasing rate of unemployment of approximately 4.35 per cent as well as around 10 per cent decline in inflows of foreign remittances. Pakistan is still on the international security watch list despite its all-round efforts for shedding the image of a terror-supporting nation.

Facing such an apocalyptic scenario, what the hell is stopping the PDM-government and the rest of leading political parties along with the powers that be, to sit and put their heads together in order to find a way out of the present morass ravaging the country? In a given scenario, the ceaseless merry-go-round of political jockeying has further devastated the prospects of bringing a much-needed stability and coherence to the economic system. The current political stalemate now seems to have relegated to a three-ring circus, wherein all the major political stakeholders along with the bona fide people in charge are moving heaven and earth to pull each other down in order to serve their parochial interests to the detriment of collective national concerns. But how long will the circus go on?

Syed Jawaid Iqbal
President & Editor in Chief