Dr Huma Baqai
Senior Political Analyst
Perhaps a more important question is, “Is Pakistan ready for elections?” The country is going through a history of economic meltdown, largely because of deplorable economic governance and the indecisiveness of those at the helm of affairs, all political parties included. It is becoming unsustainable by the day; Pakistan is inches away from being declared a “basket case.” To add insult to injury, it was hit by devastating floods, and the recovery from the same has been painfully slow. The country is experiencing an unprecedented brain drain. In fact, the brain drain situation has accelerated since 2022. As per official records, more than 765,000 educated youth have left the country for employment overseas.
On the geostrategic front, Pakistan is facing a terrifying situation for any country, i.e., a three-front war: internally and on two hostile borders. The western border is becoming more of a challenge, and the consistency and continuation of attacks are a huge source of worry. Pakistan witnessed a record 51% increase in the number of terrorist attacks in a single year after the Afghan Taliban came to power in Afghanistan. As many as 433 people were killed and 719 injured in 250 attacks in Pakistan between August 15, 2021, and August 14, 2022. The recent hostage situation in Bannu is equally worrying. All government and private educational institutions and cellular networks in the district have been shut down. Two Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) officials were martyred and many more injured after a militant reportedly overpowered interrogators, snatched an AK-47 rifle, and opened fire inside the CTD police station in Bannu. Subsequently, around fifty assailants stormed the Wana police station, attacked the building with rocket launchers, and fled with eight AK-47 rifles. If this is not an internal war, what is?
Does this allow for elections? Political parties, rather than working on the challenges facing Pakistan and identifying a way forward, have continuously recycled blunders.