The government’s crashing ship and clashes with the opposition – Senator A Rehman Malik

23

The nation and people in opposition are getting increasingly worried about the internal and external anti-Pakistan proxy wars to destabilize the country and the government needs to watch out to act fast to counter it. The question arises; will Prime Minister Imran Khan be able to survive the economic crisis, uncontrollable price hikes, internal and external pressure including the increasing political polarization and serious clashes with the opposition which is probably moving next towards Islamabad to replicate his Dharna-like agitation?

The political analysts are confused about such a growing tendency of hostility which is creating doubts in the minds as to why this kind of policy is being adopted by Prime Minister Imran Khan. The people are getting into serious doubts as to why PM Imran Khan is not having a dialogue with the opposition to reduce the tension as this is going to ultimately weaken the democratic system further. What is making PM Imran Khan follow such a policy while the opposition is increasing its abuses against the leadership of defense forces and the government is failing to stand strongly against such propaganda? The government is always criticized everywhere in the world whereas Pakistan is the only country where the government thinks it is undemocratic to criticize the government. In the words of President Abraham Lincoln, “Democracy by definition is a government of the people, by the people and for the people”. But our present government considers itself all-mighty, where no citizen or opposition has the right to oppose or criticize its actions. Does it mean that despite ruling as a democratic government in a democratic state, they are unaware of the basic principles of democracy? Let me shed some light on those fundamental principles: Citizens involvement in decision making; a system of representation; the rule of law; electoral System-(Majority rule); equality among citizens; liberty and freedom of speech should be granted to citizens regardless of ethnicity and religion.

This was the first confusion of the government and the first forced betrayal of PTI towards its voters. This confusion came up with multiple issues as PM Imran Khan started losing his grip on administrative, political, and institutional control under his domain. He unnecessarily created a row with Sindh which was carried forward by their immature media teams from both sides making it even worse and it remained as a continued feature both in parliament and on the tv shows. It is not only counterproductive but also in bad taste from both sides. The people were further confused to see a fight between the federal and provincial governments and it once again reflected a bad image on the account of the federal government. Though there is a constitution that guides our governance but unfortunately our government does not run on well-defined governance rules and patterns. In fact, history repeated itself and PM Khan got trapped and became a hostage in the hands of his top bureaucrats (I would like to not make a mention but when the historians will write about the fall of Imran Khan’s government then some bureaucrats will be mentioned to be the cause of his failure). Pakistan’s bureaucracy now stands divided by pro and anti-PTI groups. I wish this government may complete its constitutional tenure. The vigour of the new PM has been already suppressed by his blue-eyed boys within his party and bureaucracy. The main challenge is the economic debacle that could not be rectified in two years. Here are some indicators below.

The fall of the rupee from 124 in July 2018 to 158.67 today—it is likely to go up to $1 to Rs 170. The inflation rate from 5.8 percent in July 2018 rose to a record high of 13 percent which is likely to increase further. More price hike is likely to hit the common man and the decline in exports is another factor. Fall of the growth rate from 5.8 percent to a record low of -0.4 percent today which had started dropping from 1.9 percent in 2019 and -1.55% percent at the beginning of the year 2020. Continued fall in foreign remittances will affect the balance of payments while the Covid 19 is going to dent it more adversely. Both years ended with budget deficits and it is widening even more. The price hike is increasing because of high inflation and the final heat is felt by the common man.

Pakistan Steel Mills is shut now and thousands of workers have been kicked out and it will bring even further unrest. Another major challenge for PM Imran Khan is the charged opposition against the Establishment as he is failing to create the balance of power between the civil government and armed forces. Such a situation will be the ultimate desire of opposition just like what Imran Khan had desired and acted to create such a situation between the then govt and Armed forces. He went along well in the beginning but gradually this understanding started to deplete so much that the people close to the corridor of power are expressing their doubts in PM Imran Khan and his leadership. I am sorry to state that being the mediator of the formation of the government, I know how the opposition makes a web to get into power which is no more a secret to the people of Pakistan as well. All the stakeholders including the government are worried and PM Imran Khan will avoid engaging directly as he knows the noise by the political parties is insurance for his government. It is interesting to note that our forces are the best which are not liked by some and there is funding from abroad to defame the armed forces especially the Army and its leadership because it is the only Army which has developed a defense system with the nuclear bomb and other achievements on record which is bothering India and our other enemies. The government must understand this international anti-Army plan. In the given situation, the target of anti-Pakistan funding is not to oust PM Imran Khan but it is attempted to weaken the Pak army in order to achieve the ultimate goal of the destruction of our nuclear assets and our nuclear power and defense base. The proxy wars and hybrid wars are operational by India and our Army & Intelligence are countering it well.

In the meantime, I would like to advise the Govt that the government must enhance the security of Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan as there have been reports on record to attempt for his abduction of our former country’s nuclear scientist which was my first-hand knowledge as then interior minister and I had ordered the box security for him. Our public must know that Pakistan is going through a number of serious threats on the borders as the enemies are trying to bring internal distress to ultimately harm our beloved country. Hence the government should pay some serious attention to provide some relief to the common man and improve the economy in order to ensure his survival so that there can be less tension in the country. I know that this delicate balance of power is very sensitive as I had dealt with it for 5 years and I would like to say both sides have to be transparent enough to deal with these national issues together. Hence the government and its ministers should put an end to their rows with the opposition in the National interest. I need you to mark my words that this instigation of opposition will reduce the life of PM Imran Khan Government.

Political polarization is at its peak and the parliament house has lost its image as it is run undemocratically. I think the government needs more political maturity with a mature approach to handle its important affairs. This confusion with the system and your instigation may bring some serious setbacks for you hence we all have to think about how to follow the middle path to steer the nation out of crises. I am writing this piece with an independent mind above politics and in the greater national interest. PM Imran Khan must stop raising the slogan of NRO as it is not going negative in the minds of the public and you better know about the processes of present and past political concessions in our country. The instigated opposition will breed even more confusion and difficulties for you and it may give an invisible and irreversible setback to democracy, hence, you need to sit with the opposition and work out a way forward. If you failed to do so then our country’s track record will be full of individual and collective deals.