Pakistan caught in maelstrom of its own making

by IANS |

New Delhi, Jan 11 (IANS) Nero was playing a flute when Rome was burning. God knows how much truth is in it, but this example fully fits the current situation of Pakistan.

This country is facing grave issues of political and economic instability and security threat but its establishment and politicians, particularly former Prime Minister and PTI chairman Imran Khan, are prepared to stake everything in the ongoing game of power.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to some extent during his visit this week to Geneva succeeded in securing financial pledges around $10 billion.

Army Chief Gen Asim Munir during his visit to Saudi Arabia and the UAE will focus on getting maximum aid in form of dollars and oil to save its crumbling foreign reserves which are around $4.5 billion.

Munir. according to some sources. will also seek support of both brotherly countries in the imminent large scale military operation against TTP.

Pakistan's tragedy is that instead of forging national consensus to pull out the country and the nation from the political and economic mess and save them from the alarming TTP threat while rising above the game of throne and vested interests, all those who matter including influential quarters, politicians and media are busy in putting shroud on their crimes and mudslinging against the opponents.

They are least bothered to think that for how long Pakistan will keep on begging from foreign friends and global financial institutions. Why don't they set their own house in order to attain economic stability? They are totally apathetic about the fate in Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore, Karachi, Multan and other major cities of Punjab and Sindh provinces.

Though the role of the establishment and political elite is not appreciable, the Pakistani media's role is also creating division among the society instead of creating national unanimity.

The media is only interested in increasing its ratings and business. It sees and hears only that voice which could create thrill and hysteria. If one reviews the talk shows and newspaper headlines, the seriousness of Pakistani media is fully exposed. It has become the duty of every media house in Pakistan as to what Imran Khan will say today, irrespective of the fact as to what did he say, whom he accused and who was humiliated by him.

These days, he is holding press conferences while sitting in his drawing room without any questions or answers. Besides such press conferences, he also addresses the nation live and the tragedy is that media broadcasts it without any cut. This question also needs an answer as to what is the role of media besides Imran Khan and PTI in poisoning the national politics of Pakistan. Even in the prevailing political and economic imbroglio, the credible and serious voices and characters do not attract the media's attention. It has become the mean mentality of the media that one should be so-called populist and arrogant for inviting its attention.

If the media had realized its role for creating national consensus and unity to pull out Pakistan from the current political, economical and security crises, it would have focused on all saner voices and characters, which can play role in this regard.

On January 5, the Islamabad Bar Association had invited Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party chairman Mehmood Khan Achakzai to deliver a speech on important national topic "Pakistan's Survival lies in democracy, rule of law and constitution". This speech by the great personality like Achakzai should have been the focus of media attention and debate, but sadly the media almost blacked out it.

In his speech, Achakzai purposed a feasible course of action to tackle the crises facing the region and Pakistan and factors behind. He said that this time Pakistan in real sense is facing grave crises, which cannot be resolved through conventional elections and political engineering. They require all stake holders to sit together at national level.

Prior to elections, a roundtable conference of all the stakeholders should be convened to decide as to how this country has to be run and who will run it. He further said that only people can handle this country, which doesn't face any shortage of resources. If there is any shortage, it is the shortage of democracy and civil and constitutional supremacy. Pakistan can still become a best country in case the judges and the generals swallow the bitter pill of constitutional supremacy.

Achakzai invited all political forces, including Imran Khan, to sit together to chalk out a joint course of action to tackle the prevailing challenges.

Adding that party politics can be done later on, he said that he is ready to play his role. Achakzai said that economic crisis, poverty and inflation have reached to such an extent that if timely steps are not taken, Pakistan can face anarchy and civil war.

About regional situation, he warned that even if any state whether it is Iran or Afghanistan or Pakistan gets destabilized, no state in the region will be safe from its negative impact. Peaceful and independent Afghanistan and Pakistan can be best friends of each other and they can also benefit from the economic possibilities in the region.

However, it is imperative for them that they avoid interfering in each other's internal matters.

Achakzai's speech in view of prevailing situation should have been of the great importance for the Pakistani media, but it is an irony that statements and utterances of Imran Khan and Sheikh Rashid which have nothing to offer as solution to Pakistan's grim situation are more important for the country's media.

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