Pakistan has been at a fork in the road since the new Sharif-Zardari administration took office. Whether we are talking about the economics or the moral authority of a governing class, Pakistan has had a difficult time. Normally, when a government receives criticism, it tries to avoid it, but this present dictatorship-like government is presumably unconcerned with optics since they perceive themselves to be immensely powerful, despite the fact that they only have one vote in the national parliament.
One thing that fascinates me is how well some people try to pin the blame for the instability on Imran Khan’s 3.5-year rule, as if the present leadership, which is just a few weeks old, should not be held responsible. Why should we judge them for a few weeks when they have been in power since the 1970s? Since Pakistan’s independence, only two parties have ruled in a democratic period, with the others being ruled by the military during martial law. Why shouldn’t they be held responsible for these shambles?
Read more: Pakistan Politics: Race to the bottom
Why is the PDM experiment a failure?
Since the PDM government took control, every department has been in complete chaos with no clarity. During a live broadcast, the Finance Minister claims that there will be no rise in petrol prices and then goes on to announce a 30 rupee raise twice. For the first time in Pakistan’s history, the dollar, petrol, and diesel all reached the 200-rupee mark. With a singular focus on repealing the Electronic Voting Machine bill in the national parliament and not granting abroad Pakistanis the opportunity to vote, the country has the highest rate of inflation. Not to mention the regime’s fascist response to peaceful protestors, which includes the use of shell guns and police to harass demonstrators; this is something that has not even been witnessed during times of martial law.
Ordering police to raid PTI MNAs, MPAs, and ex-ministers late at night, harassing women and children, and filing bogus politically motivated FIRs. That is exactly what the government has been up to over the past few weeks. A government that pretends to be dealing with a slew of economic issues is solely interested in waging a fascist war on the opposition. PM Shahbaz Sharif’s five international visits in a month were barely beneficial. The fact of receiving any favorable news from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, or China was far from reality, as was what the government published in every Pakistani newspaper.
Pakistan’s foreign minister, Bilawal Bhutto, has spent most of his time in this post outside of Pakistan and has not bothered to deal with matters within the country. Despite having someone as seasoned as Hina Rabani Khar, Bilawal Bhutto, who had no prior experience in the Foreign Ministry, took over the reins. Only an attempt to spoon-feed and turn someone who is probably not on the same level as his mother into a leader. Just to remind you that Pakistan is suffering huge economic issues, JUI-F is enjoying key ministries and taking everyone, even servants, on paid Hajj at the cost of the Pakistani people. MQM is pleased with the port ministry and will not blackmail the present administration on inflation and fuel price increases as they did with the PTI government; nevertheless, the reasons are still unknown, and BAP is nowhere to be seen.
The economic survey tells the story
Uncertainty in industry and the stock market caused by this regime resulted in massive losses, further damaging an already ailing economy. The instability was so severe that many began comparing Pakistan to Sri Lanka, which was not even considered during the PTI government’s time. Since this administration seized power, even MOODYS has lowered Pakistan to a negative. The Economic Survey report of Pakistan is sufficient to support the thesis that this administration is a failure.
Because the PTI administration met the most significant economic aim, GDP growth, it was less unexpected that other objectives were met as well. FY21/22 PES Report: Agriculture grows at a stunning rate of 4.40 percent, while GDP grows at 5.97 percent. 10.4 percent LSM Exports of goods increased by 26.6 percent. Exports of services increased by 17.1%. Also what needs a special mention is all these figures were achieved during COVID times.
The present regime’s whole strategy for toppling Imran Khan’s administration was based on inflation and the inability to deal with economic concerns. Both PPP and PMLN have done a long march to Islamabad on the subject of inflation, but the data tell a different tale. The present regime’s entire strategy was to be in power corridors with no plans from the experienced group. Following Miftah Ismail’s presentation of Imran Khan’s administration’s performance figures, the issue that has to be raised is why there was any need to overthrow the PTI government. Numbers don’t allow you to declare inflation, but rather a personal agenda.
The writer is an MPhil scholar, analyst and journalist with expertise in national and international politics. The views expressed by the writers do not necessarily represent Global Village Space’s editorial policy.