What happened to Pakistan?


It has been a long time since I have written anything for the site, my apologies. This prolonged absence was partly due to lack of time and partly deliberate. The last few months in Pakistan have been anything but sane. Ever since the Supreme Court of Pakistan disqualified the then Prime Minister Nawaz Shareef over Panama case, pressure had been mounting. What initially began as a political struggle for a better Pakistan by Imran Khan, quickly morphed into a struggle between “good and evil”.

 

70 years of political mess resulted in the worst ever government this country has seen. The last 5 years saw external debt cross over $90 million. Corruption and nepotism hollowed out the economy from within and destroyed the social fabric. Metropolitan cities like Karachi turned into heaps of garbage as local government systems collapsed. Elected representatives began to think of themselves as demigods, trampling upon the common people with impunity. June 2014 saw the worst ever form of state terrorism when Punjab government massacred unarmed and peaceful activists of Minhaj ul Quran and to make matters worse government prevented the judiciary from delivering justice to victims. The massacre was followed by a long march and sit-in in Islamabad by Minhaj ul Quran/Pakistan Awami Tehreek(PAT) and Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf(PTI). PAT demanded a fair trial for the massacre while PTI demanded a fair investigation of 2013 elections which they claim were massively rigged in favor of the ruling party Pakistan Muslim League(PMLN). The sit-in resulted in a stalemate and the situation settled down for the time being.

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The f.i.r for model town massacre was lodged but proceedings were hampered by the undue influence of Punjab government. Investigation into election rigging also gave the government a clean chit, Supreme court ruled that there was not enough evidence to suggest systematic rigging. In 2015, Panama papers created a political storm through out the world, for Pakistan this leak would prove to be historic as the leaked data implicated the then Prime Minister Nawaz Shareef, his daughter and sons in money laundering cases. The leaks proved that PM Shareef had bought Avenfield apartments in London in early 90s, a fact which PM Shareef had categorically denied.

PTI forced the PM to face the parliament and clarify his stance, the PM failed to submit a convincing reply and this resulted in yet another deadlock between the ruling party PMLN and main opposition party PTI. PTI chief Imran Khan called for nation wide protests against the refusal of a sitting Prime Minister to be answerable to the nation. As the government refused to account for the PM`s ill begotten wealth, PTI took the case to the Supreme court in November 2016.

Cutting it short, the ruling family failed to submit the money trail for Avenfield apartments and as a result the PM was disqualified and in July 2018 just a few weeks before general elections, Nawaz Shareef, his daughter and son in law were arrested and sent to Adiala prison on charges of money laundering and forgery.

The run up to the elections saw clear polarization in the political spectrum. Almost all of the political parties ganged up against Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf(PTI) because of the aggressive campaign led by PTI chairman Imran Khan against corruption and years of loot and plunder. Khan`s narrative resonated with the common Pakistani, people were fed up of seeing the same old faces again and again.

As a result the general elections which were held on 25 July 2018 and PTI achieved a landslide victory. In Imran Khan`s words, it was a tsunami! PTI fielded candidates in almost every constituency, some of them were electables while most of them were ordinary political workers of PTI, who did not have millions of rupees for election campaign like their opponents. Regardless of this, the Pakistani nation came out on the election day and voted for PTI. When results began to flow in, it turned out that almost all of the big names, the so called seasoned politicians who thought Pakistan could not survive without them, were wiped out by the tsunami of votes!

This result is like a breath of fresh air for Pakistan. Yes the status quo has not been completely uprooted but a heavy blow has been delivered for sure. It is now upto the new government of Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf to make good on their pre election promises. Well they did not make a lot of tall promises like others, their whole narrative was focused on rounding up the corrupt politicians and officials who have plundered the wealth of this country and bringing back all the plundered wealth which has been stashed abroad. If PTI can manage to fulfill these 2 promises, they can easily manage to turn around the economy of Pakistan and lead the country towards a new era of growth and prosperity.

 

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