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Political Instability and Security Dilemma

Dr. Atique Ur Rehman:
With each passing day, Pakistan is experiencing more political instability and chaos. After decades of research, it has been established that a state’s stability and security depend on five fundamentals which include political stability, economic prosperity, a strong military, an established societal order, and the least climate hazards.
All five fundamentals for state stability are exposed at the moment in Pakistan. Vulnerability is a result of ongoing geo-political rivalries, own political follies at the domestic front, and manipulation by hostile agencies to bring Pakistan under pressure.
Our prevailing political culture is not inclusive. It does not benefit the common man in any way. It looks after a few who are already in the power corridors and know, how to pull the strings. National politics draws its strength from agrarian society which only looks for short-term gains; thana/ kutchery, pumpkin, and show. The same culture climbs up the ladder and is pervasive in national political discourse. Wholesome policies and their implementation is not a priority but individual benefits remain sole objective in power corridors of federal and provincial capitals.
Recent deal with IMF for loan of $6 billion has brought economic wrath for public in terms of increase in electricity and gas tariff. Petrol prices though not linked to IMF program yet, have added fuel to public anxiety.
World must realise that Pakistan is not a state which can be exposed to threat of such natures for an unforeseeable future. It’s geo-strategic location, military strength and public sentiment and support for Army are its power base.
Let us evaluate, what went wrong at domestic front and how? What is in excess and what is deficient? who manipulate these factors, who ignites and what should be done. One can not comprehend all this in few paragraphs yet a hint will suffice the requirement.
Excess of military interventions in the past have been biggest factor in political instability. Political echelon was neither given an open ended opportunity nor they were mature enough to handle off season governments handed over to them time to time. Come and go, push and pull continued for decades which did not let the political institutions mature.
Present political turmoil is result of political excess and misunderstanding of a political party which was brought in by forces that be . In the governing process, Chief Executive miscalculated power equilibrium and tried to ouster the biggest political opponents from the political corridors without analysing the effects. It is complete lack of judgement and miscalculation of political power structure on part of party in power. In political strategy, total elimination is never suggested. Dialogue is the way to resolve issue and develop consensus.
We need to evaluate democratic norms according to our own environment. IK wanted to completely tilt this balance in his favor without realizing the political cost country had to pay. The desire of IK ignited the political unrest, as was expected, and opposition parties took the route of agitation. During 2018 till April 2022, opposition did not let the PTI government to move forward smoothly. Political opponents joined hands. IK wanted establishment to strengthen him to crush his political opponents. Such a big upheaval was neither manageable nor acceptable to anyone. It brought every political body and institution under pressure. It was a quagmire of political wish hunting, governance mismanagement, absence of consensus within political parties and among political stake holders which led to chaos in society. Economic failure of PTI government was result of this political expediency.
In a chaotic society, capital flight is first casualty and next is information vacuum and information mismanagement. Establishment is victim of same quagmire. Political forces have liberty to play their games, spread rumors and ignite masses. Due to revolutionary changes in information technology, propaganda has become an easy game. The digital age and the rise of social media have accelerated changes to our social systems, with poorly understood functional consequences. This gap in our knowledge represents a challenge to progress, democracy, and actions to address global crises. The multiscale interactions and feedback that underlie collective behavior are hallmarks of “complex systems”—which include our brains, power grids, financial markets, and the natural world. When perturbed, complex systems tend to exhibit finite resilience followed by catastrophic, sudden, and often irreversible changes in functionality. Adversaries just require atmosphere of mistrust within a society, rest they can do themselves. We provided opportunity which was exploited by hostile agencies and here we are.
We are politically unstable and economically vulnerable. Society is badly polarized and military is the target of propaganda. How vulnerable we are due to global climate changes, we have just witnessed in 2022 floods.
Our information domain is extremely vulnerable to propaganda by all internal and external forces. Only way out is to overcome political unrest. Political consensus on holding of, humanly possible, fair and free elections and then accepting the results. It should be the beginning of future. If political stability is achieved rest is just a management. Pakistani nation is resilient, hardworking, highly talented. Whole nation keep their country and armed forces in highest esteem. Information regime is compatible with existing political environment; more the political stability, more peaceful journalism. Will it happen? Fingers are crossed for a peaceful and prosperous Pakistan.
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