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Pakistan’s Voyage Into Instability

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In the famous Shakespearean depiction of Caesar’s rise to power in the Roman republic and transforming it into an empire, one thing that is strikingly similar with the current layout of Pakistan’s domestic political structure is the fall of its ruler through the hands of his loyalists. Et tu Brute? was the last question that Caesar asked Brutus, and as the current national political chessboard is emptying, our premier, too, might end up asking the same.

In the year 2018, a new face emerged in Pakistan’s administration. Imran Khan assumed the role of our Prime Minister and took Pakistan on a voyage towards rehabilitation. But was Pakistan ready for the withdrawal symptoms? The answer can be explored in the political unrest that the country faced since Khan assumed office. With accountability being his utmost priority, or what the opposition refers to as an exercise in vengeance, Khan began a campaign to wipe out corruption and bring about a crystallized political structure that somehow emulates the system that was introduced in the state of Madinah by the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and continued by the early Caliphate.

However, this move, which might have been made with the purest of intentions, ended up with disastrous repercussions. With inquiries impending on almost every vibrant face of the opposition, the bureaucracy itself feels threatened, causing the affairs of the state to come at a halt.

Another opinion that has been circulating within the political mainstream is that the premier himself wants to remain the blue-eyed boy of the establishment and as soon as any other candidate emerges as his possible replacement, cases of corruption and wrongdoings emerge against the latter that somehow tarnishes his credibility in the political circuit.

While Imran Khan has, over the course of his tenure, evolved himself as a seasoned politician, he failed to prove his worth as an administrator who can smoothly operate the affairs of the state. While cases of corruption have recently surfaced within the KP government, the premier has landed all his focus on ensuring that Jehangir Tareen, his former political aide, remain in the confines of the sugar scandal that has become the talk of the town. Many political watchdogs are now questioning as to whether or not the premier was aware of Jehangir Tareen’s illegal operations before his rise to power. Also, is PTI moving towards a possible split?

But the foremost question still looms over all others: amidst this political turmoil what will become of the country?

In a recent turn of events, Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan (TLP), a political-cum-religious organization displayed its might after tensions between the government and the latter reached new heights. What caused such an uprising in the country? This remains a bone of contention between the right-wing conservatives and the left-wing liberals. However, many unbiased journalists and political analysts have rendered a verdict against the present government.

The issue raised by the TLP, revolving around condemnation of the disrespect of our Holy Prophet (PBUH), was exceedingly delicate. Delicate, because religion in Pakistan is a pit in which the republic of religious fanatics throw anyone who so much as thinks of challenging their economic and social monopoly. However, despite knowing the sensitivity of the issue, the government handled it in the worst possible manner and in turn created enemies for the state. What followed was yet another chapter in the same tale of a shattered, aimless government, a clueless crowd of manipulated fanatics and, above all, the same old common people with everything to lose.

The government, instead of repeating the mistakes made in the past, must analyze the loopholes in their policies. We need to end the practice of short-term and one-sided solutions and come up with an effective long-term policy to eliminate the curse of religious fanaticism and political polarization. Pakistan also needs to stand firm on the issue of our Holy Prophet (PBUH)’s respect and utilize international forums to voice our concerns when it is not upheld. But under no circumstances should we allow the country to burn again.

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Naya Daur