This will be a long post on the current political situation of Pakistan and my opinion of how best to view it, react to it, and how I've digested it. Of course, my opinion is shaped by my biases. However, I try my best to be as objective as possible. I hope some posters here recognize my post history and that maybe counts for some credibility. I should state that I would probably vote for PTI in any elections but I am critical of many things that PTI has done and is doing. I think that is my right as a citizen of Pakistan and voter.
I rarely post on non technical issues mostly because such debates quickly devolve into mud slinging matches and I have no appetite for those as such confrontation makes me extremely uncomfortable. And with that admittance of vulnerability I will request readers to just be kind to me and other people in this thread.
So why do I suddenly feel the need to step out of my comfort zone?
Well, I feel like the things that I've seen in the last couple of weeks have made me think that there is something very broken about our society. I am sure the reader is already thinking what I'm referring to. I hope to surprise the reader and eventually convince them. I feel like something I say may positively affect at least one person and that is worth doing for me because I deeply care about Pakistan, Pakistanis, and their future.
What Has Happened?
Imran Khan's government has been voted out by an opposition sponsored vote of no confidence. The PTI's perspective is that there is a foreign funded effort to discredit and remove its government. The opposition says that this is an exaggeration made by Imran Khan for political mileage.
What has me worried?
The country is divided very very sharply with people very angry. It honestly feels like Trumps America has come to Pakistan. You open the forum and every thread is filled with frustration at the judiciary and army. Clearly people that support PTI are in a majority on this forum and they feel like they've been cheated and humiliated by a foreign plot and their anger and frustration is understandable.
However, we must understand that the state of Pakistan stands upon some fundamental pillars. The army is one. The judiciary is another. The parliament is another. REGARDLESS of whether one thinks that these pillars have acted incorrectly or not, we can agree that if the people of this country cannot put faith in these pillars, there is no state anymore. A state is after all just a social contract that we as a nation make to agree that this is our army, these are our judges, these are our representatives. Otherwise, there was nothing inherently special about the people in these institutions.
My opinion of the politics of Pakistan:
I want to write this section with the intent of offending the least amount of people by avoiding taking sides best I can.
It is my opinion that PTI was nudged into power by the army as a viable third force against the PPP PMLN. However, I think the original sin of the PTI was that they came into power by compromising their ideals and making a very shakey coalition. Their compromised position prevented any meaningful delivery of promises. As soon as the support that PTI had grown so used to went away, the house of cards collapsed.
So why did this support go away? I think Imran Khan believed that he was the president of a strong presidential type government even though he was the prime minister of a parliament. It is my opinion that Imran Khan ought to have been less caustic in his attacks and not totally refused to work with the opposition. Before someone assumes that I'm some sort of PMLN PPP supporter let me just say that I am making this point in the most pragmatic sense. In a parliamentary government you cannot pretend to be the only power when you dont even have simple majority without lotas and coalition partners. Are all of the people in PPP and PMLN so absolutely beyond redemption even more than the absolute garbage that crept into the PTI? I think Imran Khan's rather binary approach closed more and more doors for him and he eventually paralyzed his own government and the army was in no mood to take the blame for Imran Khans political ineptitude.
This also brings me to a problem that I think we've had for a long time: cult of personality. If you're a PTI supporter Imran Khans words are gospel. If you're a PMLN supporter, Nawaz Sharif's words are gospel. If you're a PPP supporter Zardaris words are gospel. It should come as no surprise that none of these people are perfect. You can find people to write essays on the positives and negatives of each of these people.
Therefore, I tend to view ALL politicians with mistrust. Some because of their past actions. Some because of their incompetence. Being an Imran Khan supporter one should be willing to accept the possibility that this foreign cable is just a reading of the mood by am ambassador and not a confession letter by USA. Similarly, PDM supporters should be willing to accept the possibility that their leaders are united on a one point agenda of easing their judicial troubles. YOU DONT HAVE TO AGREE WITH 100% OF WHAT YOUR BELOVED LEADER SAYS. Imran Khan is NOT bigger than Pakistan.
I think it's very unfortunate that yet another PM is ousted before his term. This will play havoc with our already fragile economy. There is widespread unhappiness in the country about what has happened. While the opposition can point to the incompetencies of the PTI government I think it's fair to say that the real reason is to ease their judicial troubles. It is unfortunate that PTI with so much leeway that it had squandered so much with their general ineptitude and adhocism. I bet that their next time will be much better.
A constitutional and legal process was followed. This is quite new for Pakistan. Whataboutsim isnt a good response to this. "where was the judiciary here, where was the army there". Stop and appreciate the fact that the judiciary was there to stop a minority in the parliament from doing its will. Before I am abused to kingdom come by PTI supporters, I will ask PTI supporters to imagine a situation where the tables were turned. A PMLN speaker whose government was about to be voted out by the majority of PTI and its partners and the PMLN speaker dissolved the assembly? Would you be so angry with the judiciary then if they made the same call? The thing about justice is that its supposed to be true whether you like it or not. And no, the foreign conspiracy claim cannot overrule the constitution. To wonder why, imagine again if PMLN pulled a conspiracy card. Would you like the judiciary to consider it? I hope not. Principles are principles and they dont bend to wishes. I think this decision sets a good precedent that prevents future misadventures by PPP and PMLN too. So this is GOOD thing. If in the future PPP or PMLN tries to pull something similar this decision will smack them right in the face. Think on that.
The much touted "neutrality" is also good. The army should stay out of politics and let an actually popular government come to power. No I dont mean any specific party. I just mean anyone with enough seats to actually legislate.
My Issue With PTI's Current Approach:
I think attempting to erode the public's faith in the judiciary and army is a very very dangerous path to be on. I vehemently disagree with this approach because this is exactly how you destroy the social contract of a nation and turn into a Libya or something. I think a much better approach for PTI that is in line with national interests is for PTI to respect the institutions but keep their narrative of how the opposition had no basis to oust them. Aim for elections and try to come into power uncompromised.
This country doesn't need divisive politics. It needs politics that brings people together. PTI needs to win over PPP and PMLN supporters because whether anyone on this forum likes it or not there are A LOT of Pakistanis that vote for PPP and PMLN. You calling them traitors and they calling you selected isn't moving voter patterns by anything. You are just solidifying your own voters. At that point it will be a race between who can have more children and indoctrinate them with their political views.
I know it is hard to see it right now but Pakistan is MUCH bigger than PTI PMLN PPP combined and it deserves much better than the hopelessness and mindless anger that we are seeing these days. Channel that anger towards bringing Imran Khan into power uncompromised if you think PTI is the answer to Pakistan's problems. But dont go around calling the majority of Pakistanis traitors - majority = supporters of PMLN PPP, the entire judiciary, the entire army.
I know I sound like an army fanboy but I hope you can read my objective criticisms of the army in other posts. I don't like to shy away from calling a spade a spade but in this situation the army did the right thing by staying out of it.
The judiciary did the right thing by preventing current and FUTURE minority rule in the parliament. I hope they keep making principled decisions against ALL parties involved. Keep in mind it was the same judiciary that convincted Nawaz Sharif.
The people of Pakistan need to more strongly enforce their voter franchise and should be HAPPY that outside forces like army and judiciary didn't allow irregularities to creep into our systems. Like I said I understand the anger of PTI supporters. But I strongly disagree with where this anger is being channeled.
I hope and pray that saner heads prevail eventually and the hawks are ignored a bit.
If my post angers you, I apologize. I have tried hard to not have that effect but it is hard to achieve my goal in the current environment. I hope traitor is not the most common response on this thread. I hope that you can be kind to each other. I hope that the flood of off topic frustration posts on this forum dies away. I hope that Pakistanis can be kinder to each other. Please.
i absolutely LOVED your post and i 200% agree with you, the kind of venom and disrespect we have seen lately for both judges as well as for the army is alarming, these very same courts and same judges were the ones which sent Nawaz home in Panama case, the very same Army and it's shaheed's are the one's protecting us day in and out
Bajwa might be so many things but God damn i will give this to him that even after being provoked SO darn much he kept army out of stepping in this political mess, i personally think he will not take an extension and he never wanted one in the first place.
I grew up with my mum teaching me always "it's not what you say, it's how you say it" a lot of people here honestly need to practice this, instead of politely exchanging their opinions and trying to convince the other party they resort to insults such as chor, dakku, youthiya, noora, traitor and what not.
@JamD also will like to request your permission to share this
Political awareness is good - cultism is not.
There are many undertones of Pakistan being compromised in the protest but those targeting institutions( even though my view of the judiciary and military is that they do falter a lot) only damages you more.
Great post @JamD u described perfectly where IK/PTI went wrong(among other things I highly disapproved of them letting in lotas)...Only if PTIans have bit of objectivity left in them dare to accept this fundamental reality, things would change for good. Unfortunately, this is not going to happen. They would blame everyone and everything under the sun and i don't expect them to introspect at all.
PTI rule was a manifestation of story in Animal form by George Orwell.
...and while I respect ur sentiments and ur intentions in creating this thread. I still disagree on a personal level.
To those who are against PTI/IK...u will automatically think I'm a PTI fanboy...well I'm not. To me PTI just represented a "placeholder"...something that kept known corrupt actors out of power. Be it PML-N, PPPP, PML-Q, MQM, JUI, etc...
...we have seen these stooges play musical chairs for years...and where has that gotten Pakistan? We have seen them repeatedly be inept, corrupt, escape justice, misuse power, run away from the country, and come back when it suits them. Any alternative to this...even a mediocre one was better than giving them another chance. The idea wasn't to go from being a jiyala to a youthia...the idea was to vote for someone better...every chance we get. If someone better than IK/PTI would've come along...I would've gladly voted for them to keep PTI out...and then the next better option...and so on to slowly dispel the strangle hold of the corrupt parties and political dynasties.
However with this recent "topi drama"...we saw exactly what a joke of a system it really is. With lotas being bought...even entire parties being bribed away to ensure IK/PTI no longer has majority. Then there is the whole foreign hand issue...even if we take it at face value that it is being exaggerated...
...it is painfully obvious that certain powers didn't like IK's government(for whatever reason) and the fact that our typical losers(PDM - a collection/union of the same looters that have been looting the nation for decades) jumped on the chance to topple IK's government...it really isn't a good look for any party going against IK rn bcuz it makes them look like stooges used by foreign powers to create a political environment of their liking(in Pakistan).
So in short yes...Pakistan's "democracy" is a joke...yes elected officials(lotas) are bought and sold...yes the powerful get to do whatever corruption they want and get away with it...
...all that still can be sort of digested...bcuz I grew up in Pakistan...
...but one thing I personally will NEVER put up with...is "coming together as a nation" with the Mir Jafars and Mir Sadiqs living among us. I have no expectations from the likes of Zardari, Altaf, etc...at least those are known "aasteen ke saanp"
...my issue is with the common man that has a hand in creating these "aasteen ke saanp". Despite being bitten over and over...they keep sustaining/feeding them. I will call them out on their decision of electing these idiots every chance I get...regardless of whether they do it in ignorance or for some personal benefit...they are doing a disservice to their country.