A fair and free election is the only solution to the current economic, social and political imbroglio in Pakistan. Political instability has been a routine matter in Pakistan, especially during civilian rule since independence. Consequently, the country had to pay its costs, sometimes very high. By not learning a little lesson from history, our political elite is not reluctant to repeat the mistakes of history. At present, the holy land is facing acute economic, social and political challenges due to political instability. A fair and free election is the only solution to all of these problems because it will bring certainty in the country.
At the moment, the federal government is formed through a coalition of various political parties with a majority of only two members. The irony is, that the largest political party in the national assembly is neither a part of a government nor in opposition. It is on roads of cities and on streets of villages, but not there where it should be, the national assembly. After the federal government comes the province of Punjab. In the last three months, three governments have been placed. There is still no certainty whether this government will continue or not. Some people say the new PTI lead government will dissolve the assembly. The others say the assembly will complete its tenure. In addition to it, we have seen long marches every year in the last four years. In nutshell, Political stability has become a dream for Pakistan which has not materialized till today.
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Due to political heat, social divisions are spearheading consistently
Allegations of traitors, mad, ignorant, and non-beliefs are rampant in our society. Unfortunately, electronic media is doing nothing else than fanning these flames of hatred by discussing the political statements of politicians. Instead of highlighting and debating the actual social problems i.e. increasing inflation, poverty, unemployment, brain drain, and curbs on freedom of expression, T. V channels harp on irrelevant matters all day. It multiplies social extremism.
The highest cost of current political chaos is constant economic uncertainty. Uncertainty is poison for the economy. Since the ouster of the previous government, the value of the dollar has increased to thirty-eight rupees till today and it is not fixed. Inflation has broken all the previous records which are recorded at thirty-one percent in the last month. Foreign exchange reserves are depleting as the export industry is near to shutting down. Foreign debts are mounting to 127 billion dollars. The trade deficit has increased to 50 billion dollars. And, IMF is imposing difficult conditions for extended fund facility. All these problems are not due to the government’s inability. These are due to economic uncertainty.
There is only one solution, free and fair election as soon as possible
The election will end political chaos when a fresh mandate will be sought by a political party or a coalition of parties. Similarly, the losing parties will have no objection to their fate. Hence, a political calm will come into being. One of the most important points is the fairness of the election. If the election could not be fair as it had been a tradition, the instability would not likely be going away. The losing parties would again be on roads instead of legislative assemblies.
Similarly, the election would also bring social harmony and minimize social divisions. Although during election times society may experience a divide, it will be all right after the election. People will have new hopes from the government and they would be discussing their common problems. Meanwhile, the fresh government would have confidence in the people which is mandatory for good governance.
Most of all, the election will bring economic certainty because it is directly linked with political stability. Then, the country would be seen as a safe destination for investment. Additionally, the international economic institutions would trust the economy and would be extending easy loans. A stable government would also be able to form concrete and long-term economic policies. Resultantly, long-term export-based economic growth can be hoped for.
No doubt, the election is the only solution to all the major problems of Pakistan at present. But expecting some maturity from an immature political elite is in itself an immaturity. They have not learned any lesson from history.
The writer has done MA in political science from Punjab University. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.