Unprecedented in the history of Pakistan that Prime Minister Imran Khan was removed by a vote of no confidence. It is a routine matter in a democracy if the Prime Minister loses the confidence of the majority of parliamentarians, he or she has to step down. This practice has been exercised in many countries around the globe, the most frequent is in the UK, Japan, Italy, South Korea, etc. It is something very normal and matter of routine in democracy, nothing strange or nothing embarrassing.
However, it happened for the first time in the history of Pakistan. The change of government before ending its term was a common phenomenon in Pakistani politics, but, the vote of no confidence against the sitting Prime minister was the first ever experience to remove Imran Khan. Although the outgoing Prime Minister linked this motion to foreign conspiracy, the official narrative of the government is rejecting any foreign conspiracy.
Understanding the matter better
PM Imran Khan was losing his popularity rapidly during the last few months of his government due to inflation, price hike, and poor governance. In this regard, the people of Pakistan were expecting that the new government will control the inflation and resist the price hike. Contrarily, inflation has shot up. The price of food has increased sharply. The fuel price is expected to rise suddenly. Electricity, gas, etc., are also scary hikes in prices. There are indications of surrendering to IMF and accepting the harsh terms and conditions. Governance has not improved at all.
The legality of the current government in the absence of PTI from the assemblies is a big question mark. The Punjab government is also in legal crisis and lacks clear legitimacy. Law and order situation has deteriorated. Terrorism has increased. The most worrisome is the frequent attacks on our security forces. On and off, we hear in news about the martyrdom of our personnel of the armed forces of Pakistan. The crime rate has grown upward. The duration of load shedding has increased.
There must be reasons and justifications, but, the public is more interested in relief and improvements. What so ever is the government’s narrative, but, the public at large is suffering and worried. If the same situation continues, the results will be no different from the losing popularity, just like Imran khan lost popularity in the last few months of his government. The Public’s expectations should be anticipated and respected. Under the difficult situation, the Government is required to provide relief and protection to the public.
Although the geopolitics are not favorable, yet, the common man has high expectations from the Government. The global political environment must have a direct impact on Pakistan, but, preventive measures should have been placed in advance to reduce the severe impact. PML-N and PPP have a long history of ruling the country, they have enough experience to tackle the situation, unlike Imran Khan who was blamed to be inexperience.
Read more: Netizens demand high security for Imran Khan
Growing expectations and disappointment
If the current Government fails to meet the expectations of the public, they might revert back to PTI. In fact, after removing Imran Khan from Government, his popularity has visibly improved. In the history of Pakistan, we had an experience that whenever any political party is suppressed, all efforts went in vain. In the 1970s, deliberate efforts were made to harm the PPP’s popularity, but, to date, it is alive and one of the strongest political parties in Sindh and present in all provinces. Measures were taken to crush MQM but failed. It is still alive and dominating in Karachi politics. ANP also had a tough time but still exists. Many other examples are available that by targeting any political force, no one can achieve desired results.
All political parties have the right to struggle to gain popularity and form their government. Healthy competition is desired. A strong opposition is the beauty of perfect democracy. But, the current way of politics is losing ethics and promoting intolerance, which is harmful. Instead of blaming each other, a dialogue must opt for consensus building. Less hostile and moderate politicians may play a bridging role and narrow down the differences. All political parties promote their soft representative to communicate with the opposition and cool down the political temperature.
There should one clear objective to save the country, and provide relief to the public. Although the public has no means to express their anger, except during elections, when they are voting. All stakeholders, scholars, intellectuals, and Ulema, may also play a positive role to bring the nation on right track. We have to learn to live with diversity, and various political ideologies, and observe tolerance and co-exist. Reconciliation, Unity, and dialogue are the way forward.
Prof. Engr. Zamir Ahmed Awan, Sinologist (ex-Diplomat), Editor, Analyst, Non-Resident Fellow of CCG (Center for China and Globalization). He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.