Pakistan on Brink of Political Change

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Muhammad Younas

nawaz1The political temperature in Islamabad seems to be rising every passing day. Federal government’s supporters who had earlier kept their mouths shut but they now have started holding public rallies which will surely heat up the political environment in Pakistan.

The more political tension rises in Pakistan the more Imran Khan and Maulana Tahirul Qadari will benefit. Political crisis will prompt tension and tension will trigger violence and violence will invite the “elite force” to come forward to take control of the situation.

The sit-in protests have so far been peaceful in Islamabad, the capital city of Pakistan. But will they remain peaceful in near future? Nobody knows. Will the protesters keep their nerve intact? We can hope so. But what if the federal government doesn’t pay attention to the six demands of Imran Khan comprising Nawaz Sharif’s resignation, re-elections, electoral reforms, formation of an impartial interim government through consensus among political parties, resignations of Election Commission of Pakistan’s member and to invoke article 6 of the constitution against those involved in the ‘rigging’ of May 2013 elections and awarded punishments.

Media reports suggest that the federal government seems to have accepted all demands except the resignation of the prime minister but Imran’s focus on the resignation of Nawaz Sharif seems to have taken the political climax to the next level.

After having lunch with the incumbent prime minister, tea with Jamat Islami leaders and supper with the Chaudhary brothers, Asif Ali Zardari, PPP leader suggested the prime minister not to resign. While Imran Khan on other hand is adamant to go home with the resignation of the prime minister, seem to have put the political dialogue to the dead-end.

What next, if the dialogue doesn’t go ahead? Will the government use force? Will protesters occupy the Parliament House or Prime Minister House? How long the protest will go? What about the “invisible forces”? Will they turn their eyes blind on the situation? But for how long? The protest is causing daily loss of Rs 150 billion to the national economy. The value of Pakistani currency is devaluing on daily basis. The image of Pakistan is deteriorating internationally.

Many political parties agree with the most of the demands but they condemn the style of the protest especially the language tone of Imran Khan. Many believe that if Imran Khan and Maulana Tahirul Qadari succeed, then a new authoritarian system may likely come into force to not only restrain the freedom of media but also the judiciary including political structure.

However, if the ongoing protest meets with failure, then the prime minister may likely emerge as a despotic ruler and he may pressurize rival political parties especially Imran Khan to the utmost level to wipe them out from the political landscape of Punjab. The prime minister may also put some kind of ban or may start controlling some media groups which kept supporting the protesters.

In the meantime, there are some people, who talk about the third option. They believe that Chaudary Nisar, present Interior Minister or any other influential personality may surprise the people of Pakistan by dividing PML (N) into two potential groups to form an impartial interim government with the support of other political parties. While some others believe that Shahbaz Sharif, the Chief Minister of Punjab’s resignation and acceptance of other demands may help ease the political tension.

However, if the ruling party didn’t like the third option, then what other option is left to subside the mounting political tension. Can’t think of any, accept one. Left Right, Left Right and of course Left Right.

The writer is a UK-based independent journalist and can be contacted at He tweets at @toyounasat. To read more articles, please visit

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