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One who owns the power makes the rules

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by Wazir Ali Shah

Since its inception, Pakistan has had a turbulent past, passing through a series of downfalls in ways of economic crisis, law and order situation and political instability. Pakistan seems to have been founded to go through a fathomless crisis and calamity leading towards retrogression putting public’s compliances on the malevolent look of its custodians.

Among those unforgettable snags in the past, political uncertainty that led to martial law in 1958, 1977, and 1999, then almost complete economic collapse in 1968, a mutiny in a portion of the country in 1970, widespread street agitation in 1977, the war against terrorism from 2004 to 2017 and now the current political turmoil causing worsened economic crisis resulting inflation, currency devaluation, uncertainty and much more.

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The concept of trichotomy of power seems to be in denial and bias in Pakistan and we notice discord commonly on these points among the institutions. It opens doors of justification to the move towards insurrections and leading the state towards oppression and inequality, corruption, violation of human rights, lack of accountability, erosion of trust and social cohesion, inefficient and ineffective governance and resistance and conflict.

We are a bit doomed due to the absence of any explicit line fixed between the institutions defining mandate, limitation, and jurisdiction. This possibility to find space to escape or violate its pertinence makes things complex and devastating. Such Institutional engagement of acquiring power and supremacy creates skirmish attitudes causing perpetual conflicts between the stakeholders. It has been a continual act of our institutions ever since independence to hold and use power over other institutions. This never-ending war thus far took Pakistan down a path of ruin. It also makes the rule of law questionable and emboldens criminals to break the law in the belief of its non-applicability in serious offences.

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We are not going beyond the debate pondering the question of supremacy of the judiciary, mandate of parliamentarians and arguing the narrative of the controversial role of the military in politics. Our neighboring countries are well ahead of Pakistan in the race of economic development being focused on discovering new horizons in all fields of state centered initiatives of public welfare. We stood far behind. Those hurdles push back the nation’s legitimate interest into an unwanted direction towards ruin. We are passing through the phase of a self-centered frame of mind. It causes polarization to reach an all-time high.

Following Imran Khan’s ouster, the takeover of Pakistan Democratic Moment (PDM) has created more hype to the tension making establishment and judiciary controversial. Political parties just utilize the public’s core issues to their own advantage of gaining power in politics. In the recent past, the coalition partners marched towards Islamabad taking Inflation as a reason. But it ended in the form of dismissal of Imran Khan. If it was an honest attempt, why did the government fail to take a single step to minimize inflation rather than adding more inflation to the economy. The sluggish economic growth increased the income poverty rate to 37.2% in FY23 during the current government. The economic situation appears to be more worrying due to austerity of the government. According to Trading Economies, the Pakistan Bureau of statistics in February 2023 reported that “Pakistan’s consumer price inflation jumped to 31.5% in February of 2023, the highest rate since June of 1974, following a sharp depreciation in the rupee and as the government announced a rise in energy prices and taxes to meet the International Monetary Fund’s loan conditions. The country is largely meeting its financial requirements through borrowing, mainly from domestic sources, and its domestic and foreign debt has grown to unsustainable levels. They needed to be restructured during fiscal years 2024 and 2025.

It would take a long time for Pakistan’s sluggish economy to emerge from its severe economic crisis. Reviving it won’t be simple, and it will require extensive, long-term, and stringent economic strategy and reforms. However, the current government is entirely focused on securing victory in the upcoming election, and it nearly succeeded in having Imran Khan arrested after an Islamabad court found him guilty in the Toshana case. The people are waiting for divine intervention to get relief from all those troublemakers. The state matters must be fixed on clearly defined jurisdictions to put Pakistan on the right course of development.

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