In the last few weeks, our television screens have been projecting the blunt truth of Pakistani politics in its ugliest fashion. Everyone knew about the reality of our politics but it still felt disgusting to watch it. At the time of writing, it seems as if Imran Khan will probably be knocked out of power within the next 1 week. Even if Imran Khan survives, he will have to make unprecedented compromises with either the security establishment or status quo politicians to defeat the no-confidence motion. Hence, whichever way you look at it, it is a very depressing situation for all those who want to see Pakistan progress as a nation.
Over the past few days, social media is ripe with many Pakistanis crying hoarse over the political situation that is ominously threatening to knock PTI out of power in a very anti-climactic fashion. It feels significantly anti-climactic because those who wish to see Pakistan progress will not appreciate such dangerous levels of political instability. Economies are not built via a one-term government alone but it is a long-term process where political stability plays a key role to build a conducive environment for business growth.
Why are we disappointed?
Apart from the stability factor, I sympathize with many PTI supporters as I can understand the level of hope Imran Khan offered to this nation & how disappointing it feels to experience the current political situation. It is an undeniable truth that Imran Khan was Pakistan’s second post-independence national leader to make Pakistani youngsters believe at mass level that change is possible (Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto being the first one).
However, what is happening in politics now should serve as a moment of reflection for all Pakistanis. This is not a time to celebrate the potential downfall of Imran Khan. If Imran is booted out as Prime Minister & the system gangs upon him to finish his political career, it is a loss for all Pakistanis because the void left by Imran in Pakistani politics will create a tempting prospect for extremists to take advantage at an ideological level.
Factors we should think about
- If you as a Pakistani decide to disengage from politics & completely boycott future elections at all levels, do you accept that you are leaving the ground open for the status quo to create a more suffocating environment for future generations? This is not the time to quit. I know it is impossible for most of us to formally join politics but this does not mean that we stop expressing our opinions & stop making efforts to influence public opinion, even if it’s at a minor level. Little drops make a mighty ocean. Imran Khan famously said that only animals are neutral. Humans stand with the force of good. Acting 100% apolitical is a very selfish privilege & it also sets a bad example for youngsters around you to be selfish in life.
- What kind of national leader do you prefer for Pakistan? Do you want a leader that completely bows down to the Western Establishment for the sake of easier dollar inflow but create risks at the geopolitical level as we live in a hostile region where USA is gradually losing influence & China currently seems to be going through an upward trajectory in international politics? Should Pakistan take bigger risks in its long term international political future for the sake of short-term political gains?
- If you call yourself a die-hard supporter of a particular political party, do you feel that you have done enough to question representatives of your favorite political party over its shortcomings? In the era of social media, access to political party representatives is significantly easier compared to past. Criticism done by a party’s own die-hard supporters usually tends to carry stronger weight than criticism done by rival party supporters or random people. For example, if you classify yourself as an Insafian then don’t you think that the current crisis faced by PTI is primarily an internal crisis which created fertile ground for PDM to take advantage of? PTI needs to set its own house in order before pointing fingers at PDM to break the loyalties of certain PTI MNAs.
Pakistan has been through much worse times in the past & God-willing, we will get past this current era of turmoil too. Let’s hope for the best & be prepared for the worst.
The writer is an IT Consultant by profession but he also retains a deep interest in following politics, cricket & football. He tweets at @naveednadeem91. The views expressed in the article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.