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‘Power’ful Political Moves

If one has weapons – like allegations of corruption – against her/his opponents, then the Politics of Revenge gets a big boost, especially in Developing Nations. It is not a common phenomenon only in India, but also in other parts of the Indian Subcontinent. Keeping in mind the corruption charges against former Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Ahmed Khan Niazi, one can say that the manner in which he was recently arrested in front of a court is shocking.

In fact, the Supreme Court of Pakistan unequivocally ruled that his arrest was illegal. Khan returned home after getting bail for the time being. However, the question here is not whether Khan is a corrupt politician. If there is a complaint against a leader, s/he must be investigated and tried as per the laws of the land. The fact is when the Government subtly uses the issue of corruption to suppress opposition voices, Democracy faces dire consequences of such acts.

Pakistan has a long history of tragic fate of its former Heads of State. The tragedy of Khan is just a new addition to that tradition. It will be difficult to overcome this tradition if the Armed Forces do not stop interfering in National Politics. It is virtually impossible for a person to come to power, as well as to stay in power, in Pakistan without the support of the Army. Whenever a leader comes to power, s/he maintains cordial relations with the Pakistani Army. Some elected leaders had made an attempt to ignore the advice of the Army in the past. Unfortunately, they had to sacrifice their office.

Imran Khan is one of those leaders who started criticising the Armed Forces after his ousting through a No Confidence Motion in April 2022. In the third week of May 2023, Khan claimed that Syed Asim Munir Ahmed Shah, the Pakistani Army General and the current Chief of Army Staff, was the mastermind behind his sudden arrest. His supporters, too, attacked the residence of an Army officer in Lahore. Meanwhile, the political rivals of Khan are of the opinion that General Munir was instrumental in exposing corrupt activities committed by the former Prime Minister. That is why Khan does not like the Army Chief.

In spite of these claims and counter-claims, it can be stated that if someone is corrupt, then s/he should be tried in the court. In Democracy, the Army cannot dictate terms and conditions to an elected Government. In other words, the Army cannot run a Democratic State. Pakistan became a pseudo-Democracy long ago. This sort of pseudo-Democracy did not benefit Pakistan. Instead, it created a lot of troubles for the country and its neighbours, especially India.

Furthermore, the political unrest has rocked Pakistan at a time when the country is facing a serious economic crisis. Different political outfits have been engaged in blaming one another over the past year. During this period, they have hardly made a serious effort to turn the national economy around. They, currently, concentrate on the upcoming election. If the International Monetary Fund (IMF) refuses to bailout Pakistan from the economic crisis, then the country may completely sink into the debt trap in near future.

While the Foreign Exchange Reserves of Pakistan are in a sorry state, the value of Pakistani Rupee has touched a new low (USD 1 = PKR 285.50) in recent times. Instead of trying to restore the confidence of the Global Lenders in such a situation, the Pakistani politicians get engaged in a blame game. As the Civil Society of Pakistan is not so powerful, it is the duty of the Political Society to realise the importance of the current situation. Else, the country would have to pay a heavy price for the current political chaos.

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