The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party surprised everyone by bagging 15 of the 20 seats in the crucial Punjab elections. This development has exacerbated the political instability of Pakistan. Mr Imran Khan certainly cashed on his image of a martyr while his opponents clearly underestimated the sympathy wave in his favour. Interestingly, the blame of economic mess has now shifted to the new PMLN government and naively, the electorate thinks that putting Mr Khan back in power will improve things. Whatever the electorate thinks, the fact remains that Pakistan is close to the red line of default and PTI’s win may be a harbinger of more political and economic volatility. Taking advantage of the winning momentum, Mr Khan would now press for early elections or play some political game to get back in power. If that does not happen, general elections scheduled to be held next May, will be messy.
PTI’s victory not only has political fallouts but also has economic repercussions. It is because political stability is an important consideration for the IMF deal and PTI’s emergence as a threat to the present government directly affects it. Why would IMF risk its money in a country heading for a serious political turmoil? The resultant delay of IMF deal will further increase the inflation and possibility of early default by Pakistan.
PTI’s victory immediately led to the Pakistani currency weakening by five rupees against a dollar. In spite of poor ground realities, the current government did not leave the chance to earn brownie points and announced reduction in fuel prices. Such populist actions by the government possibly may further discourage the IMF from extending the much needed loan.
Vindicated, victorious and vindictive Mr Khan would now shake up things. Like in the past, he may plan to execute mass protests and long marches. The franctic general public, which is facing acute inflation, is likely to support Mr Khan in his endeavours. Victory in Punjab will embolden the PTI and a renewed political tug of war will push Pakistan into more commotion and the concomitant internal security challenges will multiply.
At this stage when Pakistan is economically and politically weak, entities like TTP and Baloch Freedom Fighters will consolidate their position and attack Pakistan Army with vengeance.
Punjab elections were critical for the PML (N) to wind up corruption cases against Mr Nawaz Sharif and facilitate his return to Pakistan. With his brother as PM and son as the CM of Punjab, Mr Nawaz would have easily returned to active political life, strengthened his family fiefdom and settled scores with his rivals. Things however have gone awry with PTI winning with a thumping majority in Punjab. Mr Shahbaz Sharif will now have to play a balancing act of self-preservation & effective governance. He will also divert the public attention from food to fantasy and thus the fire of Kashmir issue will be rekindled. The ISI and Pakistan Army will press the paddle of infiltration even while taking a risk of FATF noticing it. They will also try to increase attacks on police personnel and innocent civilians. Who gets killed, will not be their concern; the aim will to keep the pot boiling and divert public attention from the gloomy political and economic situation.
Successful operations against terrorists, have reduced their strength in Jammu and Kashmir significantly and the groundswell for peace is palpable. In view of this, the ISI and Pakistan Army have instructed terrorists inside Jammu and Kashmir to conserve their strength. At the same time, to keep the violence continuing, these terrorists have been instructed to choose soft targets.
What allows this bloodshed to continue is the weakness of our divided society. Unless the society stands up against violence, the perpetrators in Pakistan will be able to continue it. The society does not have to pick up arms……just the first step of condemning Pakistan sponsored terrorism, will be a big blow to it. Sharing the information of terrorists is the second step…and the third step will be to emulate people of Reasi wherein they nabbed the terrorists and handed them over to the Police. Condemnation of Pakistan sponsored terrorism is perhaps the most important duty of all.
So let’s…for the sake of our children….light a candle…..hold a placard….march peacefully….utilize social media …. CONDEMN PAKISTAN SPONSORED TERRORISM. Our silence will lead to an insecure future for our children….we owe some courage to them.
KAB TAK BAHEGA KHOON BEKASOOR KA?
KAB HOGA KHATMA IS FITOOR KA?
AKHIR KAB TAK HUM CHUP RAHENGE?
AUR PAKISTAN KI DAHSHATGARDI SAHENGE?