How Pakistan’s Political Drama Has Turned Into A Mess

How Pakistan’s Political Drama Has Turned Into A Mess
In the first week of March the Chief of Army Staff General Asim Munir met with businessmen to assure them that the worst was over. This meeting raised some questions for sure.

In principle, unless the country is being run under a martial law rule there is no justification whatsoever for a chief of army staff to have any contact with the business people of the country to give assurances on the economy. This meeting not only further instills doubts about military’s non-involvement in day-to-day governance matters but also undermines the trust which had been building slowly – that the establishment is trying to be apolitical and neutral especially after the top brass changes last year.

Previous Army Chief General (retd) Qamar Javed Bajwa also had a meeting with the business community of Karachi in the past. The meeting did not convey a positive image of the then civilian government’s hold on the governing affairs. The same has been repeated and has not contributed to the prominence of democracy in the country, which is already facing a constant crisis of governance and credibility.

International Monetary Fund (IMF) and friendly countries are also not sure about the future of the governing setup, and are following the policy of ‘wait and see’ for now. This delay is hurting Pakistan’s poor the most.

To salvage the situation it would have been easy for all politicians to come to the table and chalk out the next phase, including holding of elections, while the military could have taken the back seat.

Unfortunately none of these simple steps are being taken due to Imran Khan’s refusal to sit with the current government and the current governments’ inability to stand behind the tough decisions and assure the IMF that this time the government of Pakistan will not break the agreement. There is a huge trust deficit not only on the domestic front but also with international entities.

The honorable courts of the country are being dragged into political cases. We have recently seen the chaos in Lahore and Islamabad.

In the course of this unnecessary political drama the country’s law enforcement agencies are also pitted against each other. We have seen an episode of Punjab Police/Islamabad Police in a confrontational situation with Gilgit Baltistan Police outside Zaman Park residence of the former prime minister. Thankfully it did not escalate.

It appears that there is no let up from any side to avoid the collision course which brings not only hardship for the people but also embarrasses the country by becoming a laughing stalk the world over. Imran Khan was interviewed while confined in his residence by the international media outlets, BBC, Aljazeera, CNN et al. It did not relay any positive messages around the world about Pakistan’s state of affairs.

On top of it recently the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leaders met with ambassadors of several countries in a ‘breakfast meeting’ and, as reports, suggested they reiterate their demands that elections be held in the country as soon as possible. This is yet another embarrassing act as rather than advising them that political uncertainty will soon be settled so they can relay to their respective countries the message of prosperity coming from Pakistan for the encouragement of investors coming to Pakistan, they start washing their dirty laundry outside of their home.

Unfortunately Pakistan politics especially after the rise of the PTI has become a fight between good and evil rather than remaining a political fight between ideologies. Democracy in the country is going through trying times because even after successfully completing several election cycles we could not achieve the true essence of democracy.

For some reason as soon as any election finishes, the democratic behaviour of leaders suddenly transforms into authoritative behaviour quickly, and things go back to being destructive for the overall wellbeing of democracy in the country.

This is a disservice to the country. It is meted out by leaders only to gain personal benefits for their own political agenda.