The longest march to the elections | BY Haya Fatima Sehgal


The longest march to the elections

PTI will most probably win the elections in 2023 as already predicted. Khan’s recent U-turn on the conspiracy spiel comes as no surprise.

The backtracking statements, perhaps means a venture into a more stable outlook for the party’s political future.

If they come back into power, the real question is: How will they fix Pakistan’s dwindling economy?

The World Bank has reported that around 5.8 to 9 million will be pushed into poverty due to catastrophic floods, slow GDP growth, high inflation and a current account deficit.

Perhaps the only objective for them should be a workable economic plan. The majority of the nation is in agreement that elections should be held, it is only a question of delaying the inevitable.

The recently controversial issue of selecting the new COAS was although not insignificant, it should not have been a main decisive event of the country.

Some say these were diversionary tactics to sidetrack the nation from the real problem of the failing economy.

The new COAS has a serious battle ahead as the recent threat of the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan already looms as they called off its truce and have started attacks already.

The country will certainly need a strong defence system to thwart these insidious militants. The major takeaways with all the havoc created on this key position; Pakistan has always been situated in a precarious position since its inception.

Only six months into its creation it faced turmoil hedging its borders and it has never had time to build itself up as a nation.

Pakistan is often described as a praetorian state where it is not possible to limit the role of military in politics.

Now coming from its top military leadership in a brazen statement in the news, the ex-Chief said quite openly, it has run interference for decades (but will abstain from now on).

The only cultural impact which sees a bit of a shift is that the role of the army in politics is now being allowed to be discussed openly in the common men’s sphere.

Pakistan is nestled in the cradle of giant mega powers surrounding it. It has also often been sucked into a vortex of wars having to use its resources and suffering losses.

Today, Pakistan’s geopolitical and geo-strategic position is more relevant in the regional economic development, which makes it a significant player in a new multi-polarized world.

If the West is expecting Western style democracy in Pakistan, in the true sense of the word, this will be highly unlikely.

It doesn’t and will never possibly fit the system of events which have nurtured the state into being.

This is not to say that a large majority agrees with the current state, but it also does not have any options.

There are many who believe if the previous government comes into power again it will come in the same way — with ‘approval and support’- from the same people.

In Jinnah’s idea of Pakistan, there was no role of military in politics. Ironically, there has been no Jinnah’s Pakistan since Jinnah passed away.

There are several who believe in recreating this sentiment through acts of service however, this will not be possible any time soon.

This is not the fault of the people, any governance or the military. This is just the way history has developed Pakistan into maturity.

The country is stuck in a position requiring its strong arm as a crutch for its defence as well as governance.

Currently, there are murmurs of a stronghold being envisioned in the form of Presidential elections to take place in the future.

Here, only time will tell who is holding the trump cards in the longest march to the elections.

—The writer is contributing columnist, based in Islamabad.