Talking Points on the State of Pak Politics

…this article is about making a strong economic case for a technocratic setup, especially when it faces stiff criticism from political pundits and senior politicians. A seasoned politician and the Minister for Planning and Development, Ahsan Iqbal, recently commented that technocrats should only be government advisors. I have a lot of respect for his political intellect and wisdom. But respectfully, I reject this notion and think that Pakistan’s current economic turmoil makes an incredibly strong case for a technocratic and even better meritocratic setup. (Daily Times)

Whenever general elections draw close, the nation’s ‘electables’ and ‘influentials’ begin a frantic search for political platforms which they can attach themselves to, to ensure they get a share of power. And often the invisible hands that play an oversized role in managing Pakistan’s politics are at work ‘guiding’ these political nomads towards what are likely to be winning tickets… (Dawn)

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan says his party members are being coerced into believing that the former prime minister and PTI have no political future as he has been marked with a ‘red line’. People are being scared into believing that it is now ‘minus-Imran’ and that he has no future whatsoever”. He said huge sums of money were being offered to ‘buy’ the loyalties of PTI lawmakers. He claimed that PTI members and allies were offered money in exchange for joining the PML-N or threatened with dire consequences otherwise. He said PTI was ready to sacrifice two assemblies (–in KP and Punjab,) and urged his party members and allies to be prepared for 2023 as the year for general elections. (Express Tribune)

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Since ’47, the Pakistani state has lived up very well to the objectives of its creation by ably guarding elite interests and ignoring those of the masses, so much so that it now faces doom. In fact, the Pakistani state may be in South Asia the one least focused on the people…The limits of this elitism are vividly illustrated by the current perma-polycrisis. A crisis is bad enough, a polycrisis (one encompassing multiple domains such as economic, political, natural, social, etc) worse and a perma-polycrisis (a polycrisis that shows no signs of ending) more so…The history of successful states shows that social movements play a critical role in improving the quality of governance and making it more people-centered. Thus, it is critical for Pakistani society to organize itself better and form an alliance or coalition for change to force elites to adopt egalitarian policies that help avoid disaster. (Dawn)

DesPardes Readers Add:

1. We as a society are not sincere or serious with ourselves. We celebrate beggary and slavery. There is no credible leadership around. 2. Given the ground realities, elections will always produce a hung parliament, with the same blame game and corruption. 3. Every regime will leave behind a worse legacy than previous one. This is how Pakistan has been for the past many decades and supposed to be, under the so called ‘Washington Consensus’. Solution: Elections for a ‘National Multi Party Elected Government with a 13 Member Wartime Economy/Rehabilitation Emergency Cabinet, with a 12 Member Team of Technocrat Advisors, with full powers to undertake hard decisions, Comprehensive Reforms and new Policy initiatives and Local governance, with a Capital NO to 23rd IMF Program and presence of Hitmen.

Yes. Elections. But Multi Party National government is need of the hour, as no single Political or even a Coalition can tackle the challenges we face and hence comes the blame game. Will multiparty govt be able to take tough decisions? By their electoral mandate, they would have to deliver instead of engaging in blame game or to hide their incompetence.