Pakistan is only one day away from the second consecutive democratic transition. There is a mixed feeling among the citizens. Few are hopeful for a change that will bring a corruption free system. And, there are those who believe that only faces will change and the system will remain the same. A significant portion of country’s intelligentsia thinks that establishment is engineering the elections through political victimization of the ex-ruling party. Apart from who gets the chance to form the next government and who becomes the next ruler, more critical question is whether the next Prime Minister of Pakistan will be in a position to take the country out of chaos.
Obstacles Next Prime Minister of Pakistan May Face
Here are the few of barriers that might bar next Prime Minister of Pakistan to deliver.
Obstacles from Establishment
In the history of Pakistan, democracy has never got much chance to flourish in the country, due to frequent military takeovers. The country lacks the civilian supremacy. Intellectuals from such school of thought believe that it doesn’t matter which political party is in power, the establishment always manages to influence the policies of the government. And an inability of the civil government to satisfy the whims of establishment leads to the ouster of elected Prime Minister, a fact that somehow reflects in the disqualification of Ex-PM Nawaz Sharif by Supreme Court due to corruption.
So, one of the major obstacles for the next Prime Minister will be to carefully craft a foreign policy that satisfies all the stakeholders and eventually leads to the peace and prosperity in the region generally and in-country mainly.
2. Dealing With the Economic Crisis
Pakistan’s economy is passing through its terrible phase; circular debts, foreign debts, budget deficit, a decrease in exports and currency devaluation are some significant problems that the country with enormous resources is facing. The future government will need to have clarity on how to prioritize between large-scale developmental projects and improvement of the social sector with a particular focus on health, education and infrastructure development. Working on the economic growth is not easier as said. The next prime minister of Pakistan will need to decide whether to work for a development economy or defense economy.
3. Dealing with Extremism
Since the Soviet war and later 9/11 extremism has been a significant issue in Pakistan. Religious and sectarian violence and terrorism have remained the major issues that keep the country’s socio-political situation volatile. The next Prime Minister of Pakistan will need to have a clear stance on how to combat extremism by religious, sectarian and ethnic groups. Unfortunately, one of Pakistan’s mainstream political parties PTI (Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf) which is likely to form a government is using the religion card in its election campaign.
The party is bashing its opponent PML-N for allegedly making amendments in Khatm-e-Nubuwat section of Election Oath. There is a history of misuse of blasphemy laws in Pakistan for political gains. The next prime minister of Pakistan will have to realize that country is associated with not raising the slogans that can encourage bigots and provoke violence
4. Dealing with An Irritating Opposition
Unfortunately, in Pakistan opposition, doesn’t disagree with the government on policy matters and the issues of public interest. It arranges protests, marches, and sit-ins to destabilize the sitting government. So, every government in Pakistan faces a challenge of dealing with a stubborn and irritating opposition that never lets the ruling party focus on the development and well-being of people. The aim of its resistance is not to promote legislation which could do some good for the people, but it raises its voice only to play a blame game.
So, the next Prime Minister of Pakistan must be strong enough to stand before an irritating opposition to deliver what he or she has promised in their party manifestos.