The PML-N has been bearing the brunt of handling Pakistan’s economic woes. While this is not a bi-partisan stance to present, it isn’t far from fact. With the PTI leaving office, there’s been a hole in the country’s exchequer. Miftah Ismail has frolicked to and fro from state to state looking for funding with the foreign minister by his side. China has promised to reinstate its investments into the Gwadar-based CPEC project. Saudi Arabia has vouched to inject millions into the country. Most recently, Russia has even offered to direct gas pipelines into the country. The Sharifs have a history of dealing with authoritarian figures, dating back to Nawaz Sharif’s meetings with such populist figures in the late 80s. Is it wise to say that the Sharifs are the best option for getting Pakistan back on its feet? The IMF deal would certainly indicate so. Under Imran Khan’s reign, the rupee reached historical highs and inflation was beyond being contained. However, the tragic floods which have scoured the country’s poorest and destroyed their homes and livelihoods have presented an ordeal to the present government to look past all this in order to deal with something they weren’t ready for: in legal terms, a force majeure. The PTI has taken to ridicule the Sharifs for ‘eating away’ at the FDI brought into Pakistan. These are low blows. It’s much comparable to how the Biden camp ridiculed the Trump cabinet’s response to the 2020 pandemic. Had the Democrats been in office, would they have handled the situation much differently?

Making an apples to oranges comparison is atypical of rival groups; however, in this instance, there is something much greater at stake: a third-world country is quickly going underwater, and the first-world isn’t doing much to help. Khan has proudly stated time and time again that there are few who are as familiar with the Occident as he is; if that is the case, then what is the point of these telethons with all-too-scripted phone calls of foreign families pledging tens of millions of U.S. dollars for the Khan cause? Perhaps it is high time for the former Pakistani cricket captain himself to venture abroad and seek help from his celebrity friends. This is the same man who collected tens of millions to bring his Shaukat Khanum initiative to life in the 90s from the likes of the Goldsmiths, the Spencers, and, of course, the Windsors.

It’s time for Imran to get off his high horse and make a change, if he wants to see one so badly. Shahbaz Sharif has his sights on meeting with the newly-appointed King Charles III as soon as possible; only time will tell what fruit bears from such.

–Raza is a university lecturer by profession, interested in the promotion of liberal and anti-authoritarian ideas in Pakistan. He can be found on Twitter @SocialDigitally.