Combative politics and national unity

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has recently booked former Finance Minister and PTI leader Shaukat Tarin in a sedition case under the Pakistan Electronic Crimes Act (PECA) after completing investigations into an alleged audio leak. Last year, an audio tape was leaked in which a voice believed to be that of Tarin was advising the Finance Ministers of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to scupper the IMF deal by refusing to generate extra funds, required by the country’s loan deal with the global lender.

Pakistan’s political landscapes over the past year and the series of recent events and arrests of politicians from opposition parties had refreshed the memories of Pakistani traditional politics of the 90s. There had been a politics of agitation and clash after the ouster of former Prime Minister Imran Khan, however, it was two-way traffic from the coalition government in the center and the two federating units ruled by the opposition. After the dissolution of the Punjab and KP assemblies, the inter-party tussle heightened because of the opposition campaign for an early general election and the treasury’s efforts to delay the provincial polls for this time. Presently, PTI Chairman and opposition’s strong candidate for the top slot has announced a Jail Bharo Tahreek in the coming weeks while the government vowed to deal with the opponents in the same coin.

Realistically, Pakistan fell prey to the egoistic policies and selfish politics of its leaders, whereas the nation faced multiple setbacks throughout history and each aspect of our national life witnessed division and degradation over the past seven and a half decades. Currently, Pakistan confronts multiple challenges including a renewed upsurge in terrorism, price hikes, and economic depletion along with continued political unrest and disagreement between the parties that not only divided the entire nation but also worsened the financial crisis. In fact, Pakistan needs no other enemy if our leaders sew seeds of hate, and division among the masses and augment rivalry among the federating units of the country.

Unfortunately, the legacy of using national issues and governance as a tool of politics has always undermined the national growth and foreign policy interest of the nation, similarly, squashing space for criticism and civil liberties including the right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly cause frustration and wider agitation in the society. The allegations against the former Finance Minister might be true, however, his arrest and prosecution would further inflame the ongoing tussle between the warring political factions. Apparently, numerous laws can be used for the coercion of opponents but such actions ultimately reduce the scope for negotiation and national unity.

Although the current political trend sufficiently fulfills the needs of the Political elite, it does not comprehend the urgent demands of the country, which is currently under attack by terrorists and faces an imminent risk of economic collapse. The government forgot its agenda for the APC and national consensus in its early stage, as the rulers undertook another adventure through a ramp-up campaign agaisnt the opponents. Today’s Pakistan needs national unity, Political Stability, and economic stability which could not be realized without a charter of democracy between all stakeholders. As early as our leaders will realize this fact, all political and economic glitches would ease up accordingly.