The Only Way Forward

The IMF will not provide the much needed relief to the rival party of PTI but to Pakistan.

There is no denying the fact that the economy of the country is precariously perched at the edge of a precipice due to the shenanigans of the political parties and their leaders who have invariably focused on pushing forward their narrow political agen­das and fomenting politi­cal instability. It is said that economic progress hinges on perennial political stability. This re­ality is corroborated by the history of the developed countries as well as rapidly developing countries.

Pakistan is a victim of self-inflict­ed tragedies and the dilemma is that our politicians refuse to learn from history and rectify their blun­ders that have brought Pakistan to where it stands now. Political rival­ries have been stoked into political enmities without ever bothering to introspect what harm the obtaining situation is inflicting on the country as a whole and lives of the people.

In a democratic polity the rul­ing party and those sitting in the opposition are two sides of the same coin. The opposition is gov­ernment in the waiting. Though the party in the government may have different views and strategies from the opposition to deal with national issues but their ultimate and common aim is the well be­ing of the people, ensuring peace and development and protection of the state interests. Nevertheless it is only possible when the politi­cal parties do their politics in con­formity with the internationally recognized norms of democracy and have unflinching commitment for upholding the constitution and laws of the land besides respecting each others mandate.

The split mandate given by the people is being vociferously de­cried by PTI and other political parties. The PTI is claiming that its mandate has been stolen not­withstanding the fact that the can­didates backed by the party have swept the elections in KPK and also obtained 95 seats of the national assembly. Calls are being given for protests against alleged rigging and thwarting the political process in the post-election period not realiz­ing the fact that any attempt to or­chestrate political instability in the country would lead to unimagina­ble consequences as far as the econ­omy is concerned. The country has witnessed unprecedented politi­cal instability since April 2022 up to 2024 general elections due to an ambience of confrontation between political parties adding to the ve­locity of economic nosedive. There was almost a national consensus that elections were imperative to bring the much desired and need­ed political stability in the country to stem the rot in the economy and providing relief to the masses. Now that the elections have been held and the process of forming govern­ments in the centre and provinces is reaching its conclusion it is respon­sibility of all the political parties to avoid confrontational politics.

My considered view is that in the given situation political stabili­ty and revival of the economy is the only way forward. The political par­ties will have to use their collective wisdom to winch the country out of the challenges related to the econ­omy putting behind their rivalries and inflated egos. They must un­derstand that the country can no more stand politics of disruption and chaos. Every body will have to contribute his share in the develop­ment of the country. The people will also have to identify those elements which are in any way involved in the activities to thwart the progress of the country. Adopting the sug­gested course is inevitable with no other options being available.

To understand the severity of the economic challenges it is perhaps pertinent to point out that by June 2024 the country has to pay loan amounting to $ 24 billion and dur­ing the next three years another $79 billion will have to be repaid. The country is almost in a debt trap due to reckless borrowing by successive regimes more so by the PTI government which borrowed $ 52 billion during its three and half years rule more than the amounts borrowed by other regimes in their stints of power. The country is also bearing loss of hundreds of billions of rupees monthly by keeping the state owned enterprises afloat.

Under the circumstances writing a letter to IMF by Imran Khan urg­ing it not to approve the much need­ed bail-out packages for Pakistan is indeed very regrettable and falls in the domain of anti-state act. The IMF will not provide the much need­ed relief to the rival party of PTI but to Pakistan. It is therefore incum­bent upon all the political parties to focus on national interests instead of their own political gains. Pakistan comes first and badly needs nation­al reconciliation to winch it out of the quagmire that it is stuck into.

The country needs charter of economy and abiding commitment by all the political parties to bring political and legal reforms that might be needed to ensure political stability in the country, strengthen the state edifice as well as carrying out electoral reforms that could for ever eliminate the culture of creat­ing doubts about outcomes of elec­tions. It is a now or never situation. The entire onus lies on the political leadership of the country. And God forbid, if they fail to rise to the oc­casion it could lead to incalculable harm to the country besides mak­ing them irrelevant to the future political landscape.

Malik Muhammad Ashraf
The writer is a freelance columnist. He can be reached at

The writer is a freelance columnist. He can be reached at

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