Pakistan’s Callous Elite Quarrels While Economy Nosedives


Pakistan’s crises continue unabated – the rupee continues to slide downward, Imran Khan continues with his threats and rants, the government in power is finding it difficult to manage crises, the judiciary continues its interventionist streak, and the military establishment refuses to understand that all that Pakistan is facing today lies ultimately at its doorstep.


As former editor of Dawn, Abbas Nasir, recently wrote, “there is not one from among the tight band seen as the major power players in the country such as political leaders, the security and intelligence set-up, the judiciary and the media which reports on these players, that is not being seen as utterly callous.”


Nasir argues that what Pakistan is witnessing today is a result of the 2016 “get-Nawaz Sharif operation.” Ever since 2016, “it has been downhill all the way. Politics, economy, and worse still, the entire value system and rules of engagement in society, especially where disagreement happens, represent a mess.”


Nasir notes that “the economy, the fragile political system and the country itself are being smothered under the weight of their (political and hence illegitimate) ambitions and power grabs. So far, there is little indication that any of the players are prepared to take their foot off the accelerator pedal and slam it on the brakes.”


What is needed is better sense among all the key players to ensure a viable country and a growing economy. “There is a need to act now and think of our beloved, albeit blighted, land. We can resume our power grabs and take up our narrow agendas once things have stabilised.”


Author: Ali Chughtai