Voter apathy, endless graft of Panama fabric, the tyranny of NRO-manufactured demagogues and the malicious EHM—Economic Hitmen—cobweb in the garb of ‘return of democracy’ since 2008 now seems to be worn, cracked and eventually on brink of collapse as the dire economic dynamics unleash the lousy hubbub in country politics. What we witnessed in the decade was all but Pakistan’s entire political order suffered from a ‘reign of mediocrity’ peppered with mounted corruption, gross inefficiency and withering of national narrative.
Pakistan’s Arab Spring marked with the restoration of judiciary in lieu of vocal lawyers’ movement and gung-ho media coverage brought about two upshots: dethronement of Musharraf and installment of PPP-PML-N’s ‘democratic’ rule. The silver lining in terms of enticing slogans like Aitzaz’s “Riasat ho gy Maan k Jaisi”—welfare state—and rule-of-law shivered with the horrors of terrorism, nepotism and ransacked law and order longitude. The 18th amendment in the name of provincial autonomy unfortunately proved to be a contributing factor to further fragmentation of center enwrapped with divergent educational system and reckless governance in quivering the symmetric national building. The dawn in the wake of democracy had been, in fact, descending with the dusk of corruption and bad governance encircled with clouds of pessimism hovering over national arena.
With PTI’s entry since July 25, 2018 into power corridor, some sort of amelioration was to be reckoned. At least, initiative-oriented approach was envisaged. Indubitably even PM’s gusto accompanying with uninterrupted hard-work is the ubiquitous talk of the town. Notwithstanding the souped-up media criticism, PM is hell bent upon cumbrous decisions such as going for IMF bail-out package and austerity stunts even at political cost. To bolster the debilitating economy is the biggest challenge of the new PTI government. But in spite of all bona fides and resolute initiatives, the truth is: the system is not delivering. Initiatives are good but execution is sham.
So far as the politics is concerned, its outright crumple looks to be nigh. Parliament as a forum of making legislation has totally lost its vigor. It has been morphed into a farcical soup-opera in which government and opposition are at daggers drawn. Sessions are petty and discussions are banal. Government comprising of the friable majority is up the creek without a paddle in which adoption of wartime measures is a long row to hoe. PM himself says bureaucracy is creating hurdles. Question is: Where are we heading?
As the entire political fiefdom of country is susceptible to be cracked and crumbled, the aftershocks of Panama totally wiped out the PML-N top political echelon. While elder Sharif and his children are still hounded by Panama; the very survival of younger Sharif—the erstwhile Khadam-i-Aala—is formidable too as being harried by NAB in Ashiyana scheme, Clean water scandal et al. The situation is also not so much rosy in Sindh. Second report of the SC-constituted JIT directly implicates the top guns of the PPP in money laundering and fake account case. Cases against PPP top brass is of more serious nature than that of Panama for it unravels the filthy nexus of money laundering and corruption with terror financing and economic terrorism. Who could forget Ranger’s failed raid on KDA to arrest Manzoor Kaka in 2015 and Zardari’s outrageous response against Army in his Eent-se-eent speech. Zardari’s latest press conference to unite all the opposition on one front against Imran is his last ditch effort to weather the storm. It sounds like Imran versus all in which survival of one party is an utter annihilation of the other.
Accept it or not: the system is unable to deliver. On the other hand, impediments in the way of steady performance are colossal. Herculean are challenges. Both government and opposition are unable to endure each other. Imran is no more in reconciliatory mode which was the hallmark of last PPP-PML-N stints. Unlike both parties, he seems to be no more passionate for second turn. His head-on approach against opposition is almost closing all the doors of appeasement. After Jamal Khashoggi’s cold-blooded murder, region is increasingly going to be destabilized. Chaos can’t sustain for long. State has primacy over system and constitution. Institutions like Armed forces and Supreme Court are taking emergency steps but unfortunately the system is not delivering at swift pace. System can’t be retained at the cost of State. Maybe Imran is doing his best but the truth is: he is not yet successful. Opposition should bear in mind that Imran is the last player of this political chess. In case, God forbids, he fails; this rotted system will be buried under the burden of its corrupt legacy. Imran himself will dig the grave of this system by dissolving the national assembly. Attorney General Anwar Mansoor is not making flying castles in the air when he suggests Presidential system. Perhaps a time for Pakistan to rewrite her new political order is not out of conception. For, there comes a time when you set aside principles and do what’s right.