It is needless to state that the country is experiencing the worst ever economic and political crisis owing to the shenanigans of our rulers. They are all responsible for where the country stands now. But the regrettable thing is that the political leaders are refusing to learn from self-inflicted tragedies and remain mired in petty politics rather than thinking in terms of the greater good of the country and the masses as envisioned by our founding father. The country has had to wade through a never-ending political crisis all along its history stemming from the culture of not accepting the results of elections by the losing parties and the consequent conspiracies to dislodge the sitting governments. Political instability decidedly torpedoes the chances of economic progress and prosperity. Who can forget the crass politics of the fifties and nineties? No serious effort was made to reform the political system that triggered political upheavals and history continues to repeat itself.

However, nothing compares to the political instability and the resultant economic melt-down that has gripped the country since the 2013 general elections. After his exit from power, instead of remaining part of the parliament which was the right thing to do in the given circumstances, Imran Khan has chosen to invent false narratives like in the past without ever thinking about the consequences of such irresponsible escapades. He invented a conspiracy theory stating that it was orchestrated by the US with the connivance of people from his party and the PDM and refused to accept the PDM government on which he hurled the epithet of imported rulers. Along the way, he has also hurled flak at the establishment and added to the list of conspirators, which according to him now also include India and Israel. He is also trying to create hurdles in the functioning of the new set-up and thinks that immediate elections are the only way the country can be pulled out of the ever-deteriorating situation.

While he demands immediate elections, he does not trust the current Chief Election Commissioner on whom his party has persistently heaped scorn and accused of bias against the party. The party has already started a smear campaign against the ECP, alleging that a plan has been chalked out to rig by-elections in Punjab. That seems a pre-emptive effort to create doubt about election results and then propagate the mantra of rigging in case the party loses the elections. It has been the party line all along. Under the circumstances, the demand for immediate general elections is untenable. The question is, will the result be acceptable to the party held under the incumbent Chief Election Commissioner? That seems impossible going by the track record of the party. Elections have always generated controversies. Therefore, there is a need for a national dialogue to evolve an electoral system and national economic agenda on which all the stakeholders reach a consensus before going to the next polls. The prevalent system of electing our representatives has failed to bring political stability to the country and has given birth to a myriad of contentious issues.

PTI needs to understand that if the elections are held under the prevalent system and it happens to win them, the opposition parties would also not accept the result and continue their efforts to destabilise it. The vicious circle will continue to the chagrin of the hapless masses who have to face the consequences of the selfish motives of the politicians whose sole aim seems to grab power by hook or crook. However, the regrettable reality at the moment is that Imran Khan is not willing to enter into any dialogue with the PDM government. Elections are not the solution to the permeating political instability and the economic crisis. Even if Imran Khan is catapulted to the corridors of power again he would not be in a position to pull the country out of the economic quagmire that it is stuck into for which he is largely responsible. He does not have a magic wand to do it. The economic crisis also has a link to the global economic environment—which at the moment is having adverse effects on even the affluent countries—besides the unimaginative policies pursued by the PTI government and its predecessors. The political parties have to adopt a realistic discourse and stop fooling the public with false promises and things that are not doable.

The only way the country can be pulled out of the burgeoning crisis is for the political leaders and parties to shun their false egos and get together to winch the country out of the formidable challenges that it is confronted with. They must realise that their politics of vendetta and conspiracies has done tremendous harm to the country and if they continue with their politics of self-aggrandisement it might push the country towards the edge of a precipice. It is time to forge a new course for the country through collective efforts. Politics can wait for better times. I am sure the Quaid must be turning in his grave to see what these politicians have done to this god-gifted country. My appeal to them would be please let the Quaid rest in his eternal abode. I would also appeal to the praetorian powers to play a positive role in bringing reconciliation between the hostile political forces and nudge them towards dialogue to resolve all the disputed issues before going for the next elections so that the country moves towards political stability and economic progress.