The ongoing political, economic and security situation in Pakistan is grave to say the least. Add to this the fast changing regional dynamics based on the 2014 pull out from Afghanistan and it is clear as day to anyone with even half a brain that Pakistan is in the eye of the perfect storm. So where do we go from here? What do we do? Mostly importantly, what is actually going on right now?
What is going on right now is this; Economically Pakistan is on the brink of collapse, we have borrowed more money than we can pay back while institutions like the IMF, WB and the ADB have refused to fund us any more. Their logic is that they simply do not trust our government especially given the fact that a large majority of our parliamentarians are non tax payers. Hence, the argument is why bother helping a government that is made up of tax evaders? How can thieves be expected to safeguard the treasure? As a direct result of this, inflation is sky rocketing because the value of our money is being constantly devalued as our government keeps printing more money to plug the giant hole in our treasury that is now NOT being funded by the international donors. The cherry on top of this cake of epic economic failure is our growing unemployment rate because our economy is failing to accommodate all those who are entering the job market right now. So we are out of money, the money we do have is losing value and our economy is stagnant thereby creating hardly any new jobs.
Politically it is a mess as well. Just 10 weeks before the elections, the political parties are scrambling to get their act together completely ignoring the fact the mess they have created in the last 5 years cannot be wiped away by launching expensive media campaigns or simply buying the voters out. PPP’s concept of throwing money at problems is not playing out well, while the PML – N seems to be in some deep sleep refusing to move or even budge on issues. Even the once youthful and active PTI seems to be a bit too relaxed for its own good. What this has done is it has left the space open for non political characters like Qadri and the DPC, how now want to have a say in politics. But to make it all worse, none of the political players are understanding the geopolitical situation Pakistan faces and how it needs to react. All of them seem too busy with finding a way to get elected to actually realize the bigger picture here once the US completes the 2014 pull-out from Afghanistan.
Based on these two factors, there are two scenarios being played out right now in Pakistan. One is the political scenario whereby political parties finally realize the issues we are faced with, put forward a genuine plan and a leadership that is capable of doing so before the elections. Elections happen on time like they are planned for 6th of May and the new government gets to work and comes up with a budget barely a month after being elected. Problem is given our politicians’ track record; this scenario is looking unlikelier by the day. As a result of this a second scenario is fast gaining momentum. The second scenario calls for a care taker government that would remain in power for three years, would have the authority to negotiate an economic bailout for Pakistan with the IMF and the WB. The idea is to stabilize the situation and oversee a peaceful transition in Afghanistan after the US forces pull out in 2014. In this three year period of time the care taker set up would be able to undertake all the harsh decisions that need to be taken up urgently to save the economy and over all sanctity of the system. This would be a breather for a system that is very frail after 5 years of a PPP government that has pillaged the system senselessly.
|The Afghan Pull Out is the basis of this great game|
So, where do we go from here? We have two roads to choose from; one is a path where we would expect the politicians to get their act straight forgetting that they haven’t been able to do that in the last 5 years while the second option is to give this system a breather while a cleanup crew is put in place to limit this mess. What do we do? We the people wait and watch as all of this gets played out. We need to realize that even though we are the voters, the games being played right now are being played between higher powers and not individuals. We are all but numbers in a grand calculation. We the people can only hope and pray that whatever happens happens for good of this country and our system while understanding how insignificant we all are in the grand scheme of things.