The Current Political Situation Of Pakistan 2024

The Current Political Situation Of Pakistan 2024

Current Political Situation Of Pakistan 2024 Is Facing A Severe Crisis Filled With Revenge, Anger, Hope, And Disappointment. 

A country that is based on Islam with 243 Million population is all set to vote for the third time in civilian parliament. It is the first state where no prime minister has ever finished their 5- years tenure due to the involvement of military forces. Surprisingly, the upcoming elections of 8 February are still taking place in the shade of alleged military interference. In current political situation of Pakistan 2024, there have always been issues surrounding elections in this country, but this one is more than the others.

Not the least of which is the fact that one former prime minister is confined to a prison cell and is unable to move. While another has returned from self-imposed exile after having his criminal charges overturned.

Here is what you need to know about the current political situation of Pakistan 2024:

An Overview About The Current Political Situation Of Pakistan 2024

Pakistan has seen severe volatility in 2023 due to political unrest and economic difficulties following Imran Khan’s removal as prime minister 2022. Allegations have been made against a coalition administration of dubious legality anti-Khan for breaking the constitution by stifling the opposition. Pakistan is in for a challenging 2024 and beyond as the government rushes toward stage-managed elections.

Why Are Elections Important In Current Situation?

Pakistan has been critical since Ex-Prime Minister Imran Khan was ousted in 2022. Competitors did the ousting following defections within his coalition and a vote of no-confidence in the parliament. The successor Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) government (a group of 13 parties) flouted every order of the Supreme Court to which it was subject, leaving the Court crippled and helpless. The rump parliament swiftly passed laws favoring their agenda at the expense of the constitution. Pakistan’s constitutional order has broken down.

The federal and provincial governments are illegal, as they failed to hold constitutionally mandated elections within 90 days of the dissolution of assemblies. Khan’s residence in Lahore was raided and damaged in a no-warrant police operation where he was holed up with his supporters. Khan faces a severe media blackout with over 150 criminal cases, primarily frivolous, registered against him.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)

The protests in response to Khan’s arrest inside the Islamabad High Court on 9 May led to a massive crackdown and the apprehension of Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party’s rank and file. Within days following their arrests, visibly haggard PTI leaders held separate choreographed press conferences with identical backdrops. With scripted statements, the leaders apologized for the 9 May incidents and announced their decision to quit politics.

Many PTI leaders went underground or mysteriously disappeared, only to resurface later, renouncing politics or joining a pro-government PTI spinoff party. Some PTI members released on bail in one case found themselves immediately picked up in another. In a blatant attempt to hinder the chances of PTI’s electoral success, the party was denied its recognizable election symbol — a cricket bat. After two temporary and contradictory injunctions from single benches, a division bench of the Peshawar High Court has allowed the party symbol back to the PTI. Pakistan’s Election Commission might appeal for adjudication at the Supreme Court. 

The Current Political Situation Of Pakistan 2024

The Courts remain powerless and silent. Heavy-handedness in complete defiance of the law is meant to instill fear among the general populace, in which the administration has succeeded. Of the thousands arrested, over 102 are set for military trials, which the PDM-controlled rump parliament authorized. Military trials have always been contentious between civil society and the authorities. The Supreme Court, after declaring civilians’ trials by military courts illegal, has allowed them to go ahead and only restrained judgements until the Court’s final decision.

The crisis is a result of Pakistan’s complicated civil–military relations and the military’s influence over Pakistani politics. But it is the weak-kneed, selfish politicians who, instead of engaging among themselves, kowtow to the military to gain power. Against this backdrop of political upheaval, Pakistan is in a severe current political and economic system due to depleting foreign exchange reserves, a low tax-to-GDP ratio and a high debt burden, putting the country at constant risk of default. There is also a heightened risk of terrorist violence. The Pakistani Taliban movement has increased its insurgency within Pakistan from its haven in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan.

Amid this turmoil, the fugitive former prime minister Nawaz Sharif is back in the country after four years of medical parole that was supposed to last four weeks. Sharif’s departure was engineered by former chief of army staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa, and his return seems similarly bargained. Instead of going to jail, his sentence was suspended. The judicial theatre has ended in Sharif being exonerated to facilitate his political coronation. Sharif, a person who faces serious credibility allegations due to unaccountable overseas wealth, is once again the darling of the establishment as a much-needed alternative to the disruptive populism of Khan.

This political engineering is from the template used in Pakistan for every so-called political transition since General Zia ul-Haq, the infamous general who struck at the very roots of Pakistan’s political culture, making it subservient to the military. The results of the impending elections, as with previous ones, are therefore predictably known.

Pakistan is now the ‘sick man’ of South Asia, not just grappling with a collapsing economy but also facing challenges on wider social and governance indicators. It ranks 161 out of 192 on the Human Development Index, placing it in the low human development category. On the 2019 Global Competitive Index Pakistan is positioned at 110 out of 140 countries. In the global Rule of Law Index, Pakistan ranks at a lowly 130 out of 142, just a notch higher than Afghanistan.

The country remains gripped in political and economic uncertainty, leading to record inflation and 40 percent of the population falling below the poverty line. The lack of a stable and predictable environment is a huge hurdle in solving the country’s daunting problems, which are either left to fester or met with imprudent short-term policy responses.

Politics in Pakistan is not about public service, it operates like a business. It is about power, perks, privileges, and their unbridled misuse. The system is not designed to pursue social justice. Pakistan’s parties in power use the state apparatus to amass wealth and dismantle political opponents.

Pakistan cannot be sustained under the current political and economic system. These methods have been tried and have failed before. Amid grave challenges, disputed elections could inflict irreparable damage to the country. Pakistan faces very difficult years ahead.

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