Big Day, Today


All said and done, the PTI’s frustration with the no-confidence vote is understandable. Yet, it is every bit a proper constitutional matter, and hence, it is very unfortunate that the ruling party chose to muddy the waters, as much as possible, all the way to the vote.
The PM invoking a mysterious foreign conspiracy to unseat him allegedly because of his “independent foreign policy,” and then stirring the pot further by warning about a plot to assassinate him, was in bad taste, to say the least. He’s also called on the people of Pakistan to condemn all those who stand against him today, for generations, as traitors to the country. And the fact that some leaked audio suggests that the party rank and file might also look to employ intimidatory tactics makes it a very serious matter that should be looked into immediately.
Pakistan is already standing on pretty shaky legs. The economy is clearly collapsing, the bailout program is suspended, and there’s no stopping the epic fall of the rupee; which is expanding the foreign dollar-based debt and shrinking the GDP with every passing day. And it simply beggars belief that the political elite has chosen this time to get into a catfight, on top of the constitutional no-confidence confrontation, and add more uncertainty to an already very volatile situation.
All that’s happened over the last few weeks has left ordinary Pakistanis shocked and stunned. Democracy in this Islamic republic was never about them, and always about the big players with all the power and money, but never quite like this. The way the leading politicians of the country have exhibited naked self-interest and used the pain of the people to justify it, ought to be inexcusable. And the opposition that has been so upset with things that it had to move a motion to unseat the sitting PM has also not offered even one idea about how it will improve things when it goes out to bat; which is very likely.
Today is no doubt a big day, but how it changes much for the people is not immediately clear.