PAKISTAN’S TURMOIL RIPS HIGHEST ECHELONS OF POWER

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Islamabad: Political unrest and economic hardship are tearing through Pakistan’s highest levels of government, according to Dawn.

The judiciary has made it apparent that it is not interested in listening to anyone, and the legislature, executive branch, and other branches of government have all stated explicitly that they would not listen to it.

As both factions compete with one another for power, a simmering civil war within the court threatens to erupt into a raging flame, according to Dawn.

The disagreement started when the federal government urged that Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial resign, citing Justice Athar Minallah’s note in the case as evidence that his position had grown “controversial.”

The Supreme Court’s suo motu notice regarding the delay in notifying candidates for provincial assembly elections, according to Justice Minallah, was rejected by a majority 4-3 decision.

The Punjab Assembly elections were delayed till October 8 due to a decision made by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), which was challenged by the PTI in a petition. The decision was made by a three-member SC bench made up of Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Ijazul Ahsan, and Justice Munib Akhtar.

The government declared this decision to be a “minority verdict,” and the National Assembly likewise adopted a motion criticising the Supreme Court.

The government’s refusal to accept the Supreme Court’s decision has raised concerns about the state of country’s democracy and judicial system.

Imran Khan has been pushing for assembly elections in Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa provinces as part of a campaign to force an early general election that he has waged since being forced from office a year ago after losing a vote of confidence, reported The Express Tribune.

However, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has rejected Imran Khan’s call for an early general election and his government had backed the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) delay in the votes in the two provinces to Oct 8.

The administration acknowledged that it was impossible to conduct the provincial elections while the nation was experiencing an economic crisis and with a federal election already scheduled for early October. The commission cited a shortage of resources as its justification.

The Supreme Court, however, determined that the postponement was unlawful and that the dates for the two provinces’ elections should be April 30 and May 15, according to The Express Tribune.

The strong and wise have descended from their lofty perches. According to Dawn, those who were once regarded as “national leaders” seem to be without ideas and powerless to stop the vortices that are sucked the nation into a pitch-black abyss.

Moreover, political crisis morphed into an economic one that was then reinforced by a climate and security crisis.

Pakistan remains ensnared in a polycrisis, while recent political and economic events resemble the initial stages of a system entering a lethal tailspin, reported Dawn.

Pakistani state and society must come to grips with the present polycrisis, especially as this upheaval now seems to be entering a violent phase.

But, to turn back from this road to perdition, the political leadership will have to sit across the table from each other and agree on the future rules of engagement, reported Dawn.

In parliamentary systems, there is an expectation that the speaker will rise above partisan affiliation in order to conduct the business of the house in an impartial manner.

Events from the previous year, however, highlight the need for the speaker’s office to be impartial in all legislatures so that other branches of government do not feel compelled to step in to break the impasse, according to Dawn.

Millions of Pakistanis have had a very difficult year as a result of rising inflation and poverty. Whereas some of these economic issues have their roots in the Russia-Ukraine conflict, political unrest is the primary cause of the current economic crisis. This may be because governments have lost their direction or are afraid to make risky decisions because of the high political consequences.

According to Dawn, this has not only harmed Pakistan’s reputation abroad but has also pushed its economy perilously near to collapse.

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