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2- Current Scenario of Pakistan’s political culture
3- Effects on Pakistan’s Political culture
- ✓Declining in the healthy political environment
- ✓Abusive language by politicians a new normal
- ✓No consensus building on national problems
- ✓Bad Governance
- ✓No Constructive debate among politicians
- ✓Biasedness of Media
4- Causes of Political polarization among youth
- ✓Centralization of powers
- ✓Dynastic political system
- ✓Imprints of those three decades of military reign
- ✓Rise of Populist leaders and their demonizing of opponents
5- Impacts of polarized Political culture
- ✓Absence of healthy competition among politicians
- ✓Affecting National integration
- ✓Effect on the economy of Pakistan
- ✓Burgeoning Terrorism and Extremism
- ✓Compromise Constitutional laws
6- Road map for healthy Political culture in Pakistan
- ✓Encourage exclusive public participation
- ✓Rule of speech within moral grounds and free from accusation
- ✓Work mutually for national interest
- ✓No compromise on national integrity
- ✓Unbiased elections and media
7- Critical Analysis
Answer to Question
The country faces many challenges, like illiteracy, corruption, and economic instability; nonetheless, political polarization is one of the most critical issues and determining factors in countries’ stunted growth and development. Similarly, Pakistan, being no exception, has faced several issues because of political polarization among its youth, which hampered and badly affected its political culture, like a decline in the healthy political environment. Also, using abusive language by politicians has become the new normal in the country. Moreover, there is no consensus building on national problems between politicians, due to which bad governance prevails across the institutions. However, the absence of constructive debate among politicians kills the beauty of healthy competition, and the mainstream and biasedness of media exacerbate the issue for the masses. So too, there are several causes behind that polarization in the political system. More importantly, the centralization of powers is the leading cause behind that issue. Further, the dynastic political system since its inception, the imprints of those three decades of military reign, etc., are some causes. Nevertheless, issues bring some impacts, too, such as the absence of healthy competition among politicians and its effect on national integration and the economy of Pakistan, to name a few. However, there is a road map for healthy political culture to mitigate and lessen the political polarization in Pakistan by encouraging exclusive public participation, ensuring freedom of speech, working mutually for the national interest, not compromising national integrity, and conducting fair elections.
Speaking straightly, political polarization in Pakistan’s political culture has become a grave concern. It is evident in multiple ways across the country. With the rising sectarianism, provincialism, populism, religious extremism, linguistic divide, and inequality among various groups, social values are set aside to carry on the agenda for personal gains only. It has resulted in years of violence, mistrust among the state, etc. For instance, the suicide attack on the Peshawar Shiite sect mosque and rising insurgents in Baluchistan province. Increasing polarization is deep-rooted in misuse of social media, lack of rational debate, misinformation, the special interests of politicians, and biased media, which act as a watchdog for government doings. Thus, the state should find a way to lessen the country’s polarization.
Political polarization has immensely prevailed among the politicians in Pakistan. That has curbed its progress socially and economically. The rise of perpetual political instability has had dire effects on its political culture as the number of politicians increased with different slogans and adopted populist attitudes to hit the sentiments of the masses. It has resulted in the decline of a healthy political environment where differences are respected. Further, the use of abusive language by politicians becomes a new normal where there is no existence of no morality. Additionally, they propagate hatred in the heart of the masses against other parties, marring the validity of consensus building on national problems. Therefore, they use masses sentiments for vote-seeking and remain aloof with them until their tenure. Moreover, bad governance prevails as the public has been distracted by politicians who never questioned their leader for not fulfilling the promises. Subsequently, no constructive debate takes place among politicians for the national interest. Instead, they pursue personal interest and remain busy in the leg-pulling of opponents and when in power, they reverberate former government development projects and start their own for popularity. Nevertheless, the biasedness of Media manipulates the minds of the masses and shows them only the positive side of the party they follow instead of acting as a watchdog for incumbent government actions and restraining them from spreading misinformation. Thus, polarization affects political culture badly.
Furthermore, there are several causes behind that political polarization. Most importantly, the centralization of powers is the leading cause behind that issue. Because all power is consolidated in the centre, it mainly deprives provinces of many rights, making them frustrated as a matter of consequence, accelerating polarization. Further, dynastic political systems have prevailed since its inception, and only a few political parties have led. However, a musical chair game exists between those parties, each for vested interest and power struggle for getting votes from the public and rule. Nevertheless, imprints of those three decades of military reign bring tussle between state and army relations to date. Also, the rise of populist leaders and their demonizing opponents in the eyes of the public subdue them rather than wholly based on legal actions. So, these are some of the causes of polarization that must be considered.
Moreover, polarization impacts political culture, like the absence of healthy competition among politicians instead of blaming games and false accusations without evidence. As a result of the increasing entrance of politicians based on different slogans, polarization disturbs national integration, which is significant for multidimensional development, and reforms are helpful in this case. Further, polarization with disintegration brings chaos and affects the economy. No country desires to invest in a chaotic country to waste its money. Consequently, the decline in Foreign direct investment affects the economy and imbalances its trade flow. Moreover, burgeoning terrorism and extremism is due to political polarization. As Pakistan’s inception is based on religion, its people quickly become prey in the name of religion, which today’s politicians use to gain votes. Furthermore, compromise on Constitutional laws to subdue opponents from the government or apply rules, not in its true sense, worsen the political culture and bring instability.
Nevertheless, the government should have to follow a complete road map towards developing a healthy political culture in Pakistan. First, encourage exclusive public participation to make the masses aware of their rights, make politicians accountable, and compel them to pursue national interest. Second, the public should not tolerate violent behaviour to maintain morality and good behaviour on behalf of politicians. Third, the stakeholders should work mutually for the national interest to solve their problems and pursue a long-term approach with necessary reforms rather than cancelling former government development projects. Fourth, no compromise on national integrity is the backbone of a prosperous country. Lastly, the government should conduct fair elections free from rigging so that anyone participates and lessens the influence of feudal politicians who reigned for ages. Thus, the steps mentioned above help the country for healthy political culture.
Nothing hurts a country more than a polarized political culture that prevails nationwide. Unfortunately, Pakistan is entangled with a polarized political culture that hampered its healthy political environment and public participation. Also, using abusive language by politicians has become the new normal in the country. Moreover, there needs to be a consensus building on national problems between politicians, due to which bad governance prevails across the institutions. Thus, political polarization is one of the factors behind stagnant growth in all arenas.
In a nutshell, healthy competition is a prerequisite for developing a productive political culture, due to which politicians, instead of blame games and false accusations without any evidence and fact, should compete for votes. Further polarization results from politicians entering based on different slogans, increasing polarization also disturbing national integration. Integration of masses is significant for development. Furthermore, polarization with disintegration brings chaos and affects the economy. Consequently, the decline in Foreign direct investment affects the economy and imbalances its trade flow. Moreover, burgeoning terrorism and extremism is due to political polarization. As Pakistan’s inception is based on religion, its people quickly become prey in the name of religion, which today’s politicians use to gain votes. Furthermore, compromise on constitutional laws to subdue opponents from the government or apply rules not in their genuine sense worsen the political culture and bring instability. Moreover, each politician should pursue a positive attitude while dealing with national and political matters.
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