Fragile Democracy and the Emerging Global Challenges

Our generation, which is on the threshold of old age, would at least remember the tragedies when political instability and regional political dynamics lured dictators to wind up the prevailing democratic setups in the country.

For instance, in the 1970s buoyed by the political movement against Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, then Chief of Army Staff General Ziaul Haq took the reins of the government after a coup d’état, at the midnight on July 04, 1977.

Likewise, another military dictator General Pervez Musharraf launched the coup against Mian Nawaz Sharif on 12th October 1999 and ruled the country for nine years.

Those who are witness to these two adventurisms of military dictators are well-aware of the fact the country is presently faced not only with the same political wrangling, but the regional situation also seems to lead to a war-like situation.

The world—which was already lacking true leadership for the last few years—has turned to be more insecure. Soon the countries, which had daggers drawn, have positioned themselves in the two blocs: Pro-US; and the nations which the US has declared as its enemies. Besides, some countries which earlier remained the allies of the US are also keenly observing the fast-changing situation so that to conclude to take which side.

Presently, the world seems to be more insecure and unstable. The US, which claims to be the sole superpower of the world, is internally confronted with racism, the aftermaths of the Covid-19, and economic instability. Perhaps the policies it adopted during the last few years have made Russia and China emerge as its major rivals: this time more vigorously as compared to their positions they took in the cold war.

Joe Biden with a apparent help of the “powers-that-be” has won the election from Donald Trump. Everyone knows the way the incumbent president of the US made it to the White House. Even Joe Biden himself and his supporters are not satisfied with his victory over Trump. There is a clear schism in the US: the ever-widening gap between the whites and blacks and getting them united in the United States of America is a major challenge for the present government.

The US— which has four percent of the world population—has 46 percent of the firearms possessed by civilians the world over. Alongside exporting deadly weapons to other countries, the US has also weaponized its society. This is why those at the helm of the internal security of the country are taking this issue very seriously. Some recent incidents especially the ransacking of Capitol Hill have substantiated their apprehensions. The recent threat alert by Homeland Security also lends credence to the perception that the US is insecure domestically and there is a chance of armed clashes among different racial groups in the country.

The Covid-19 has also badly dented the US economy. On the other side, the court has restricted the new president to materialize his policies regarding immigration.

Discussing the situation presents the US is facing, is not the prime objective of this article but to discuss Pakistan in the light of international and regional politics and its possible effects on Pakistan.

Not only the US but its key allies—Israel and India—are also in an awkward position due to their domestic issues. The parliament of Israel has been dissolved and the national flag of India is no more hovering on its historic Lal Qilla. In both cases, the government and their peoples are not on the same page.

To divert attention from the real issues, the Indian government wants to attack Pakistan from its Thar desert while the Israeli government eying to launch an armed attack on Iran. But their wishful thinking has nothing to do with the ground realities as their respective armies have declined to give them safe exists.

This is a brief description of the international troika—US, India, and Israel—who have dreams to emerge as the powers to lead the world.

Israel is hell-bent upon attacking Iran to dent the economic interest of China. Attack on Chabahar port in Iran would not only serve Israel’s purpose but at the same time a strategic move to win the confidence of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

But a big question arises here: would China play the role of a silent spectator and who will thwart any move to stop the Pakistan-Iran-Turkey train route?

After India’s withdrawal from Chabahar port, China has emerged as a strong ally of Iran. Besides, China and Pakistan also linked their economic stability with the CPEC. So, in that very case, would Israel be fighting with Iran only or China would also come forward to save its ally Iran from any foreign aggression?

So far as US-Russia relations are concerned, it would take time to get them to normalize and those envisaging Russia’s silent-spectator role in any regional conflict must review their understanding of the issue.

The decision of the Biden administration to review the Taliban-US agreement and anti-Taliban statement from the Pentagon are well received by certain elements in Afghanistan. India also takes it as a lease of life to its diminishing role in Afghanistan. While reviewing its policies on Afghanistan, the US must keep in mind the fact that would it be able to overcome the Taliban and ISIS through a fragile Afghan government?

Pakistanis are perhaps very clear about the future of democratic setup in the country at a time when there is no political stability in the country, the opposition is in no mood to give any relief to the government and fast-changing international positionings.

In that very case, how can one be hopeful about the future of democracy in Pakistan? Postponing of the Council of Common Interests’ meeting scheduled for January 27 was indeed a tactic to avert any possibility of Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s parting ways with the ruling coalition government led by Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf. The former wants to make the report on the census in Karachi public.

So far as the government is concerned, the postponement of the CCI meeting was not a political move rather keeping in mind the regional sensitivities in the shape of the instability of the Indian government and Israel’s threats to Iran, Pakistan can’t afford any instability in the country. Cutting the long story short, the world has once again on the point where it reached twice during the last four decades. And if this is imminent, do we have any strategy to avert its consequences? As a nation, are we ready for this?

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