Pakistan Collapsing

Pakistan is facing one of the worst economic and political crises at present. The political crisis is best manifested by the fact that almost half the members of the National Assembly (the lower house of the parliament) have resigned, while two of the four provincial parliaments were dissolved a year before the elections otherwise due in October this year.

9 April by Farooq Tariq

The two provincial parliaments, in the provinces of Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtoonkhwa, were dissolved by the former prime minister Imran Khan. His party, the Pakistan Justice Party (PTI), held the majority in these two houses. He had hoped that the dissolution of two provincial parliaments would force the federal government to announce an early general election.

The caretaker governments in these two provinces have refused to call the elections, which are otherwise due within 90 days of an assembly’s dissolution. This delay is in violation of the constitution of Pakistan. The pretext for the delay in elections is a lack of funds. But a popular perception is that the delay is a manipulation by the army. The army fears a PTI victory in the elections. Ironically, in 2018, the army was accused of rigging elections to secure victory for Imran Khan.

There is a great deal of political manoeuvring going on at the judicial level. The chief justices of the Supreme Court and Lahore High Court are Imran Khan supporters. This has been manifested by the verdicts issued by the judges in several political cases.

Every time the PTI moves the case forward, everyone knows the verdict in advance. For instance, a Supreme Court bench consisting of three judges, known for supporting Imran Khan, ordered on April 4 to hold elections in the Punjab province on May 14 this year. However, this three-member bench initially included nine judges. Those not supportive of Imran Khan were removed through manoeuvring. The Supreme Court judges are issuing contradictory statements.

The judiciary is as divided as any other institution in the country….