Political instability and economic recession in Pakistan – Global Village space

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Political instability and economic recession in Pakistan  Global Village spaceRead More

 

The perpetual discordant and consistent tussle among political parties in Pakistan since the dawn of 2022 drowns the entire nation in numerous issues, especially economic recession. The victims of such a crisis are the public, who face inflation, high commodity prices, and struggling to sustain their lives. Similarly, in the current mercurial scenario regarding Pakistan’s politics, there are debates on fresh elections that question substantial economic conditions.

The new government formed after the no-confidence motion by Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) has created uncertainty that shaped a worse economic situation. Currently, the alarming economic indicators like foreign reserves dilapidation, slow progress in the development sector and political unrest pose challenges to the policymakers. Knowing the existing circumstances, this article aims to discuss various points that affect Pakistan’s current political and economic recession.

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Understanding the matter better

In Pakistan, political parties are constantly breaking and making new coalitions; the struggle for a no-confidence motion by all Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) against the previous government has instead raised many questions regarding its durability and utility. In contrast, the post-no-confidence motion has infuriated the economic and political instability. Due to economic fluctuations, the imbalance on the political front paved the way for uncertainty in public.

Which political party is to be trusted in this severe economic depression? Has the new government formed by PDM will be able to put the country on the right economic track? The delay in deciding the economic decisions can drown the country in a further severe economic downturn and high inflation.

Currently, the changing political scenario due to political mistrust, misinformation, economic miscalculation and political disharmony among the politicians of different political parties is worsening the economic recession. Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves were $17,336.8 million on February 4, 2022, compared to $ 9,732 million in April 2022. Due to a higher trade deficit and capital outflow.

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The Pakistani rupee constantly depreciates its value against the US dollar. 

A volatile political environment will lead to fresh elections, and holding elections in due course of economic recession will cost the nation “billions of rupees”. The main interrogation is whether it was the right time for political parties to go for a no-confidence motion? For opposition parties, firstly, were confident that government formed by PDM would be smoothly run in the country.

Still, the rallies of the ousted PTI workers, economic downfall and depletion of foreign reserves raised several questions about the timing of the no-confidence vote and now the government has two options either removing subsidies and accepting the IMF bailout package that will result in more price hike or call for fresh elections. In both situations, the public pays the price by facing price hikes and uncertainty.

Considering the uneven dynamics in the politics of Pakistan and if the government announces fresh elections in the country and the currently available resources of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), new elections in the country will not be possible in merely 90 days due to the complexities of fresh demarcation of constituencies. At least two months are given in ECP rules after introducing a new constituency or enlarging the old ones for the electoral process. Demarcation of constituencies requires time, and without removing the objections, the electoral process in the future remains on the sympathy of politicians and the judiciary.

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The struggle of all democratic parties was under the norms of democracy

Still, the crippling economic situation and fulfilling conditions of the bailout package of IMF and different policies of the ousted government of PTI have further escalated political and economic instability. The country’s recent oil and commodity price shock after a new government widened the external debts and political instability.

In a nut shell, until the new government formation after fresh elections, Pakistan will be facing shortages of oil, an energy crisis and a burden on the treasury. Suppose the government decides to go for fresh elections. In that case, it should also prepare pre-requisites like forming the interim government, printing the ballot papers, training polling staff, and arranging security for holding fresh elections. All such arrangements need monetary and human resources.

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Suppose the same practice of derailing democracy using economic figures and blame game proved successful for any political, internal or foreign reason. In that case, the future of democracy and economic progress in Pakistan is pathetic. In short, the current political instability, considering the worst economic recession, can jeopardize the incoming elections and the economic survival of the entire public.

The writer is Research Officer at Balochistan Think Tank Network (BTTN) at BUITEMS, Quetta. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.

 

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