Saving Pakistan’s democracy | BY Rizwan Ghani

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Saving Pakistan’s democracy

IMRAN’S army chief promotion interview and 15 Sept speech is part of PTI’s Trump like continuous election campaign strategy.

Pakistan’s Constitution is clear on the promotions. It is unfortunate to politicize it. PTI is a major political force but Imran is undermining it by confronting judiciary, ECP and state institutions.

In America, Gen Milley fended off most personal and direct attack from populist Republicans.

It is time to save Pakistan’s democracy also. On economy, Imran is misguiding public for power.

Policies of global financial institutions are no secret (IMF is hurting countries it claims to help, 27 August 2019, the Guardian, The WB and IMF won’t admit their policies are the problem, 9 Oct 2016, the Guardian).

In a press conference with Pak FM, UNSG called global financial institutions morally bankrupt.

Pakistan will have to link Rupee to gold, control State Bank and return to traditional banking to stabilize economy.

West’s financial system is failing with stagnant wages and top one per cent getting 90 per cent of national wealth.

Without making bottom 60 percent rich, Pakistan cannot progress. In 1999, Clinton scrapped US Glass-Steagall Act 1933 causing 2008 global financial crisis. The Act was enacted to prevent another 1929 Wall Street crash.

US and UK debts jumped to $30tn and £3.2tn in 2022 from $820bn and £88bn (IMF Secret Revolution 1980.

As per Imran’s criteria, West should default first because they have more debt than Pakistan ($130bn).

Sri Lanka is geostrategic issue. Nixon delinked dollar from gold after Vietnam War to stabilize US economy.

He froze prices but failed to control price increase, deteriorating US balance of payments, debt and inflation.

UK is capping energy prices from Oct 2022. Biden has introduced Inflation Reduction Act 2022 in August because $14tn stimulus packages and tax breaks to rich have caused high inflation not Ukraine War.

Trump is facing law due to Jan 6.The State upheld Constitution. Trump was stopped from joining the MAGA rioters as President.

Pelosi thanked troops for restoring democracy. Republican lawmakers are working in Congress and Senate. It is now up to Imran to return to Parliament or derail democracy by giving a call.

After FATA changes, two-third majority at the centre is a myth because winner needs 170 out of 173 total seats in Punjab.

PTI is protesting against FIRs. Forty subpoenas have been issued to Trump’s inner circle and White House staff after Jan 6.

Public office holders, government servants and ordinary rioters have been jailed for attacking the Capitol.

Congress passed Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act 2022 (HR350) which critics term as further weakening of America’s quasi-democracy.

Boris Johnson had to resign for not following law, which he as British PM expected public to follow.

Imran is blaming corrupt government for high cost of energy. PTI government renegotiated IPP contracts instead adopting renewable energy, which added billions of rupees (1.1tn rupees) to circular debt.

British PM is facing criticism for £150bn package for UK energy companies instead of taxing them and failing to adopt cleaner and cheaper renewable energy.

Imran should make public alleged six-cent gas contract with textile mafia.

There was mega corruption scandals during his term and instead of acting against them he gave NRO to them to save his government.

Like PTI foreign funding case, Lahore Ring road case, Dam Fund and three billion dollar hot money case is still pending with Pak Supreme Court, it is time to settle all such cases to bring an end to political blame-game.

On foreign funding, Trump White House Adviser, Steven Bannon, has been indicted for defrauding his donors instead of building wall.

New York State successfully charged him after Trump pardoned him following conviction by the Federal Court.

Bannon’s indictment has set the stage to indict Trump for raising $255.4M citing 2020 Election Fraud that aides told him was false and redirecting it (13 June 2022, Bloomberg).

Billions in ‘dark money’ is influencing US politics. We need disclosure laws (29 August 2022 the Guardian).

Reportedly, donations played a role in Trump’s 2016 election victory (Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data breach lawsuit ends in 11th hour settlement 27 Aug 2022, the Guardian).

Hopefully, Pakistan will end dark money in country’s politics for strong democracy, accountability and transparency.

Pakistan can learn from West to end loans, build economy, jobs and industry. Islamabad should end corruption, privatization and using paper ballot to secure elections (HR2722 US Election Safe Act).

Nationalize education, healthcare, energy and railways (Covid, China, South Korea). Enact land reforms (US Homestead Law) to cut unemployment, displacement and poverty.

Use banking reforms to end debt, build food, water and energy security. Stop overseas property buyers to cut house prices (protests in UK, Australia, Canada against overseas buyers).

Domestic consumption based economy will make Pakistan strong. Villages have strong role in it as self-sufficient castles of economy through SMEs (value addition), education, training and quality healthcare setups.

It will cut urbanization, fuel use, crime, police (Rs450bn), imports ($50bn) and cost of living while helping to create jobs, generate revenue, and end dependence on foreign remittances.

It will help overseas Pakistanis join their families back home and allow the country to adopt independent policies.

—The writer is senior political analyst based in Islamabad.

 

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