What is the future of Pakistan? Is there any hope for the common people of Pakistan? The answer to these questions lies in the details. The details are simple and obvious but not something most people want to hear. The first step is to recognize that we have lost our way and must find it again before it’s too late. We need leadership that inspires us to reach for greatness not just in ourselves as individuals but also as a nation.
Since its independence in 1947, Pakistan has faced major challenges in the shape of a fragile economy, corrupt and incompetent politicians, weak civil institutions, conflict and security crisis and regional instability. However, the recent economic crisis has resulted in severe frustration among the masses, which has led to violent protests in several cities across the country. The economy is in terrible shape, and millions of people live below the poverty line while a few families control all the wealth in the country. The country is facing a severe economic crisis with a record-high 27.8 percent annual inflation rate.
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Pakistan is under severe economic crisis
The primary reason for the current financial crisis is political instability and global energy crises. After Imran Khan’s ouster as prime minister in April 2022, investment in Pakistan has declined significantly. The current account deficit is under pressure, and the flow of remittances has declined in the last couple of weeks. The account deficit has increased the country’s debt burden and will make it extremely difficult for Pakistan to service its debt obligations in future years.
The country’s politics is in turmoil, and its people are divided along political lines. The father-son duo has been unable to cope with the economic situation, which has worsened considerably over the past few weeks. The former prime minister, Imran Khan, was able to feel the early signs of crisis and convened his reservations to the military establishment at the time of the no-confidence motion against his government. However, the powerful military establishment vowed to remain neutral amid the worst political crisis. After Imran Khan’s ouster, the new government has failed miserably on all frontiers within a short period.
The current coalition cabinet, run by the two families, is in a state of decision paralysis. It is not the first time that the Bhutto-Zardari clan and the Sharifs are not delivering as per their promises and plans. Both the families have been in power for several decades. In both cases, the successors are their children, who have no idea what they stand for or what they will do once they are in office.
Former PM makes shocking claims
The former prime minister claimed that a foreign conspiracy in the shape of U.S. intervention was used to topple his government. Interestingly, Khan has been a vocal critic of U.S. policy in the region, especially its support for India’s role in Afghanistan and its refusal to engage with Pakistan on issues like Kashmir. He has also called out the United States for its drone strikes inside Pakistani territory, which have killed hundreds of civilians. Although he favours good relations with all countries, including the United States, he also stressed that these relationships must be based on mutual respect and trust.
Unlike the dynastic politicians of the country, Imran Khan has turned into a charismatic politician after years of struggle and sweat. His government tried to solve the problems of the public by introducing new social welfare schemes for them like interest-free loans, provision of quality education at low cost, and providing employment opportunities through youth entrepreneurship funds, etc. During his short span of government, he was able to put Pakistan in the right direction. His policies increased productivity in all sectors, including agriculture, industry, trade, etc., helping boost Pakistan’s economy significantly. The recent economic survey issued by the government also proved that all the performance indicators of Khan’s government were positive even at the time of his ouster.
The only way out of this situation is through general elections, which will change the dynamics on all fronts — political, economic, and social — leading to better governance and greater prosperity for everyone in Pakistan. While the delay in holding the general election is a cause for concern, it is not surprising. In fact, it is an extension of the trend witnessed throughout Pakistan’s history. The flawed election system of Pakistan has weakened both democracy and institutions in Pakistan. It has also created an environment where politicians have no incentive to invest in strengthening democratic institutions or reforming electoral processes because they can always rely on electoral engineering and vote-rigging to retain power at any cost.
Muhammad Adnan is a journalist and researcher. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.