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PTI Government: A Hybrid Regime?

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According to political analysts, the incumbent Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government is an epitome of hybrid rule wherein civilian and military leaderships are on the same page for the first time in the history of the country. The mantra of ‘same page’ has been validated by senior ministers of the current government before the media press on numerous occasions. At the same time, the military leadership has denied backing the PTI government and has categorically refuted the allegations of military intervention in the political affairs.

The perpetual contradictory statements from both poles have questioned the credibility of the ‘same page’ which is probably a harbinger of growing resentment within the civilian and military ranks. Or else, military establishment has virtually stopped interfering in the political affairs. But the latter is not possible as the country has witnessed a long history of military intervention in pollitical and administrative matters.

Many observers have suggested that the military leadership is dissatisfied with the poor performance of the PTI government. The flawed policies of the current regime have pushed the economy at the brink of default state, invited the wrath of its closest allies, flooded the country with ballooning debts following increasing unemployment, unbridled inflation and increase in poverty.

As a result, military leadership is facing criticism by the opposition coalition as the latter is repeatedly blaming the military establishment for imposing an ineligible and incompetent government on the people of the country. The opposition parties have frequently claimed that the military establishment is responsible for the mess caused by the sheer negligence and pure incompetence of the PTI government.

Given the current political landscape, the military leadership seems to be entangled in a difficult situation. It might be ready to part ways with PTI regime but given the lack of alternatives it continues to back the current government especially in view of the bitter criticism of the opposition parties over the military role in the political affairs.

However, PTI government comprises inexperienced managers under the tutelage of an inept leadership. Most astonishingly, tongues are wagging within the PTI ranks about the gloomy future of their political party. The fragmentation within the party rose to prominence during Senate Election 2021 held on 3rd March in which 16 lawmakers allegedly took bribe and voted against their party-backed candidate, leading to an embarrassing defeat and delivering an overwhelming blow to the PTI government.

In a situation of increased confrontation and vulnerablility, PTI can’t afford to alienate the military leadership whose support is crucial to survive the tsunami of opposition coalition. The military leadership has no other option other than lending its support to the incumbent regime and manage the political process until the next general elections

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Naya Daur