Islamabad [Pakistan], March 10 (ANI): With political turmoil in Pakistan worsening with every passing day, the end seems to be in sight for Prime Minister Imran Khan's 'Naya Pakistan' courtesy rising inflation in the country.
According to Imad Zafar, a political commentator for various media outlets and think tanks, the Prime Minister is finding it tough to steer the country out of its political and economic crisis.
Khan won a vote of confidence from the National Assembly (NA). Khan needed that vote to confirm his majority in the lower house of parliament after his party suffered an embarrassing defeat in the Senate at the hands of the Pakistan Democratic Alliance, a coalition of opposition parties.
Zafar pointed out that not only did the PDM manage to get ex-prime minister Yousaf Raza Gillani elected to the Senate, defeating the incumbent finance minister Hafeez Shaikh, but it also managed to secure a majority in the upper house.
"Though Khan somehow managed to thwart the crisis for the time being by getting a vote of confidence from the NA, for sure the storm is not over for him. The rising inflation and increasing poverty in the country are only making his Naya Pakistan (New Pakistan) project a nightmare for the masses," Zafar wrote for The Asia Times.
He added, "Such is the state of affairs that even the military establishment is unable to run the country from behind the scenes."
The frustration of the elite, he said, was evident on the day of the vote of confidence, when parliamentarians of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) were attacked by a mob of supporters of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).
"Imran Khan is trying everything possible to stay in power. The question remains, however, how he will survive the onslaught of the opposition at a point when the establishment is about to ditch him and is looking for a new puppet to rule the country on its behalf," the commentator wrote for the Asia Times.
He added, "For Khan the game is almost over, as perhaps a few generals will still support him, but he does not enjoy the unconditional support from the establishment that he had after his relaunch in politics in 2011. So probably he knows this is his first and last time to enjoy power, so he is trying everything to stay in charge."
The question is how long a few generals will be able to save him from the inevitable, as the growing anger in the masses about inflation, unemployment, and economic turmoil is growing with the passage of time, Zafar said further.
He pointed out that this is "perhaps the first time" that the doctrine of the military establishment to rule the country indirectly has backfired, and it has happened in only two and a half years.
"Though the majority of the mainstream media was behind the hybrid regime, still the opposition managed to produce counter-narratives through international media and digital news platforms, and the inability of Khan and his backers to manage the economy and governance doomed the Naya Pakistan project," he said.
Zafar added, "The endgame has started, and the interesting thing is that Khan cannot even get rid of the government until both Sharif and Zardari agree to topple him."
This comes as Pakistan's financial debt continues to mount because the Imran Khan government received USD 6.7 billion in gross foreign loans in the first seven months of the current fiscal year, including a new commercial loan of USD 500 million from China last month.
According to The Expresss Tribune, Ministry of Economic Affairs reported that during the July-January period of fiscal year 2020-21, the government obtained USD 6.7 billion in external loans from multiple financing sources. The gross loans were higher by 6 per cent or USD 380 million over the same period of the last fiscal year.
Pakistan's foreign debt and liabilities have mounted by USD 3 billion or 2.6 per cent during the six months period ended in December last year, the central bank's data reported in February. (ANI)