Bleak picture

Thursday, Jan 20, 2022

On the onset of 2022, it seems that Pakistan is back where it was many years ago. The Pakistan ‘Tehreek-e-Insaf’ (PTI), as the name suggests, was going to install a regime based on fair play and justice through reforms. This was promised by its leadership ever since the political party was launched. The PTI has so far not lived up to the expectations. Looking at the crippled and inefficient justice system in 2022, in a country of 220 million, one can easily make some conjecture about the future socio-economic trends. The nexus between power brokers of the state is very much intact, policymaking processes are dominated by the same ruling elite, and anything which has something to do with the issues of ordinary people seems dysfunctional. The PTI has already lost its stronghold in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) – as evident in the recently held local bodies elections.

The picture looks bleak in Punjab too, leaving few options for the party. The situation is a wake-up call for not only the PTI but also every stakeholder in the system. The question is: what’s next? Pakistan is behind most of its neighbour in terms of economic growth. It is also dealing with the issues of a rapid rise in the population and extreme radicalisation. We cannot even imagine what the country would be in 10 years’ time. It seems that all options have been exhausted. Free and fair elections without the intervention of any state institution are the only solution.

Malik Atif Mahmood Majoka

Melbourne, Australia