Pakistani Politics in 2012

Politics in Pakistan is a hard and nasty business. After three years of a “democratic” government, corruption still reigns supreme. Over the past decade terrorism has become a bigger concern than the offering and taking of rishwat or comfort money: actually bribes.

So what does 2012 have in store for Pakistan? The country whose most popular leader Benazir Bhutto was murdered live before the international media, has been unable to bring the culprits to justice: the UN investigation into the circumstances of the murder has suggested that apart from the negligence of the Musharraf regime the Pakistan People’s Party was unable to provide security to Benazir.

Meanwhile new political forces in Pakistan’s political arena are also emerging.

Imran Khan’s party the Tehreek-i-Insaf claims that “Imran is set to play the innings of his life” and stalwarts of the PML(N) such as Javed Hashmi and PPP deserters like the former foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi have flocked to the redoubtable cricketer’s side. (Moreover, it’s pretty obvious that the young people side with Imran in the hope that he will run the country in the way he once magnificently captained Pakistan’s cricket team.)

With the PTI, a major point of contention is that Imran is said to be the toy-boy of the mullah and right wing parties. It is also reported that a political tie up between Pervez Musharraf and Imran Khan might be in the offing: will the ex-dictator join hands with the ex-captain? They are an unlikely match though and by the end of Musharraf’s disgraceful regime Imran and Musharraf had fallen out in a massive way … But a marriage of convenience might well be on the cards.

In the coming months some of the events worth observing will be whether:

  • The Pakistan Army interferes in politics (yet again!) by seizing power
  • The present government will last the full term of five years?
  • Pakistan and America will continue to do business on easy terms: something which neglects the interests of Pakistan’s interests
  • Neglected provinces such as Balochistan will be compensated for their predicaments
  • Accountability and transparency will be stampeded to undermine the national interest
  • The mullahs will continue to throw their lot in with the fundamentalists and the Taliban
  • The rich will pay their taxes (last but by no means least)
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