Political Instability in Pakistan: Causes, Impacts, and Way Forward

Political Instability in Pakistan: Causes, Impacts, and Way Forward

Amna Sehrish, a Sir Syed Kazim Ali student, has attempted the CSS essay Political Instability in Pakistan: Causes, Impacts, and Way Forwardon the given pattern, which Sir Syed Kazim Ali teaches his students. Sir Syed Kazim Ali has been Pakistan’s top English writing and CSS, PMS essay, and precis coach with the highest success rate of his students. The essay is uploaded to help other competitive aspirants learn and practice essay writing techniques and patterns to qualify for the essay paper.

1-Introduction 

2-Importance of political stability for a country

3-Political instability in Pakistan: A critical overview

  • Case in point: the 2022–23 Pakistan political unrest has a series of political crises after the ousting of the former Prime Minister through a no-confidence motion in April 2022.

4-What are the significant factors behind the political instability in Pakistan?

  • Economic disparities
  • Case in point: The GDP rate was 6.8% during Ayub’s regime since dictators had long terms, leading to consistency in the economic policies
  • Military intervention in politics
  • Case in point: A string of martial laws for over three decades, including Ayub Khan, Zia-ul-Haq, and Pervez Musharraf, adversely affected Pakistan’s democratic stability
  • Ethnic, linguistic, and religious differences
  • Case in point: Regional and religious diversity and sectarian differences are the primary sources of contention and conflict in the political context
  • Illiterate representatives
  • Case in point: Many politicians and lawmakers are unaware of the legislative processes they participate in or the technical aspects of the laws they develop

5-Impacts of political instability in Pakistan

  • Decreasing Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)
  • Case in point: According to the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), “Due to the recent ouster of the national government, investors withdrew their investment of $30 Million in the account of FDI.”
  • Rising Terrorism in the country
  • Case in point: “The most recent one was in Baluchistan, in which 14 soldiers have been martyred” (Reuters, 2023)
  • Hindering economic growth
  • Case in point: Political instability can undermine the economy, as investors become wary of investing in a politically unstable country
  • Prevailing Corruption
  • Case in point: The dilemma of corruption now reaches 140th ranking according to the Transparency International, which is increasing in Pakistan as the day passes and with every change in the political regime

 6-Remedial measures

  • ✓To conduct transparent and unbiased election
  • ✓To build the concept of national integrity
  • ✓To work mutually for the betterment of Pakistan
  • ✓Enforcement of constitutional law

6-Critical analysis

7-Conclusion 

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Political stability is the base upon which a country’s sovereignty, economic might, and international image standstill. Without any doubt, it is politics that manifests the fate of a nation worldwide. However, countries with dwindling politics always lag socially and economically. Ironically, Pakistan is no exception and, unfortunately, among those states that have done little to stabilize their political affairs. Consequently, overshadowing and, for sure, overpowering all other concerns Pakistan faces today, the political instability has undoubtedly straddled the entire country into its shackles. With a saddening heart, political instability has been a long-standing concern in Pakistan that has given birth to various evils, including economic disparities, illiterate representatives, frequent military interventions, and ethnic and linguistic differences.

Adding to it, the biased media and economic inequality have been watering the cactus of political chaos. Moving towards the impacts, terrorism, transition in power, prevailing corruption, and poverty. Nonetheless, it has hindered growth and marred the country’s progress in every dimension, especially in the economic sector. All hope is not lost, as even the darkest cloud has a silver lining. Creating a tolerant culture, encouraging political diversity, and resolving the conflicts of provinces with federation are the remedial measures that could remove the country from the eddy of political instability that prevailed in the entire state. This essay overviews the current situation of politics in Pakistan, its causes and impacts on the state, and some remedial measures.

      At present, the issue of political instability has become a matter of grave concern for Pakistan. The recent ouster of the prime minister in April 2022 through a vote of no-confidence has led the country toward instability and chaos. It has driven the nation to the brink of an implosion due to its manifestation in Pakistan in the form of blame games, institutional decay, rising inflation, and economic woes. It casts dire consequences on the people’s political and economic development and social well-being. Consequently, Pakistan has faced an acute foreign currency shortage after political instability, which may lead to a crisis similar to Sri Lanka.

Sadly, the continuous political maneuvers have inflicted significant economic harm and undermined public trust in the democratic and political setup in recent years. Thus, the government must find a way to make a positive political statement while addressing the factors and causes leading to political stability.

 Discussing the factors causing political stability in Pakistan for several decades is essential. First, Pakistan’s economy has remained the prey of political unrest. Despite its vast economic resources, the country still faces severe economic stagnation due to this menace. It is true political instability leads to constantly changing economic policies. As a result, investors feel reluctant to invest in such a volatile economy, which ultimately affects the country’s economic progress, which was better in military regimes than that of democratic regimes due to their long tenure. The GDP rate was 6.8% during Ayub’s regime since dictators had long terms, leading to consistency in the economic policies. However, the growth rate declined in subsequent governments, causing the country to borrow heavily from domestic and international monetary institutions or funds. Hence, political unrest can never let the country’s economy function smoothly.

     Apart from the economy, military intervention in political affairs is the second factor that has hindered the process of democratization within countries like Pakistan. Even though direct military interventions in political affairs or coups are now scarce, the indirect influence of the military still exists, which can overshadow and controlled the decisions of democratically elected political leaders. For instance, a string of martial laws for over three decades, including Ayub Khan, Zia-ul-Haq, and Pervez Musharraf, adversely affected Pakistan’s democratic stability. Moreover, the inadequate and vulnerable civil-military relationship has led the country to political instability. Thus, military intervention is one of the factors behind Pakistan’s stagnant growth in the social, political, and economic arenas, while ethnic and cultural divide also affects the political environment.

      The third factor, apart from the economic situation and military intervention exacerbating Pakistan’s political environment, is the nation’s ethnic, linguistic, and religious diversity significantly contributed to the country’s political instability. The government is home to diverse ethnic groups, each with its language and culture, frequently leading to regional inequities and tensions. Sorrowfully, regional and religious diversity and sectarian differences are the primary sources of contention and conflict in the political context. Furthermore, religious fanaticism and sectarian wars have contributed to the political landscape’s destabilization. The absence of effective means for addressing and integrating these disparate groups into the national narrative has prolonged a cycle of political turmoil and degraded government. So, the lack of expertise and adequate qualifications also influence the country’s political stability.

      Lastly, in Pakistan’s political system, the prevalence of uneducated or poorly educated representatives has hampered efficient governance and policymaking. Many politicians may lack the skills and expertise to solve complicated national issues, develop cohesive policies, or grasp the ramifications of the laws they create and implement due to a lack of academic or professional credentials. Many politicians and lawmakers are unaware of the legislative processes they participate in or the technical aspects of the laws they develop. This circumstance might lead to rash or ill-informed actions that fail to meet the demands of the public or address the country’s problems. Furthermore, the prominence of such lawmakers frequently indicates a more significant issue of insufficient political representation and a failure to emphasize education and intellectual rigour in the political arena. Thus, these factors significantly affect the country’s political stability, causing several consequences.

      Moving forward, the causes of political instability lead to several negative impacts on the country. It reduces a country’s foreign direct investment (FDI). Investors do not feel comfortable investing in a nation with political uncertainty. According to the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), investors withdrew their investment of $30 Million in the account of FDI due to the recent ouster of the national government. Moreover, it has multiplier effects, such as low investment in a country leading to joint development, increased unemployment, increased poverty, and reduced foreign exchange reserves. Hence, political chaos in the nation is a severe blow to an already fragile economy and leads to crime.

      Further, political chaos and ensuing economic challenges will aid in breeding crime, fostering corruption, promoting sectarianism, and causing terrorism. The centre of the country is rudderless as not only is the economic stagnation, but there is also the case of increasing acts of terror. “The most recent incident was in Baluchistan, in which 14 soldiers were martyred,” according to the Reuters, 2023. Besides, the US embassy and many others have warned their diplomats of the looming security threats. The scenario puts Pakistan in further trouble, ultimately risking the country’s image. Though terrorism has been a persistent issue in Pakistan, it has worsened recently because the government failed to take a tough decision, especially with the current political instability that has put the country and its people at risk. Therefore, political instability is reflected in rising terrorism while adversely influencing the economy.

      Moreover, political instability in Pakistan has been a severe impediment to economic progress apart from the terrorism challenge. This insecurity creates an unpredictable climate, discouraging both domestic and international investment. A classic illustration of this is the scenario after the national government was deposed, which resulted in a dramatic drop in investor confidence. Economic disruptions impede economic activity, resulting in unemployment, lower income levels, and stunted growth. The absence of stable administration and clear policies makes long-term investment difficult for firms, eventually reducing the country’s economic growth and harming its worldwide competitiveness. The political instability also leads to corruption, aggravating the already derailed economy.

      Finally, Pakistan is a country with diverse ethnicities, and various political regimes ruled the country since its inception, which has resulted in corruption that has negatively influenced the economic growth mechanism of the nation over the period. Evidently, the political demise in Pakistan has mainly been incurred due to corruption by the democratic rulers, which forced the military leadership to take the reign of the government. The dilemma of corruption now reaches 140th ranking according to the Transparency International, which is increasing in Pakistan as the day passes and with every change in the political regime.

 The party in power tries to maintain the authority, and the opposition party plans to achieve control of the government. The country must take drastic measures to maintain political stability.

      To fix the issue, Pakistan must take several steps. The country must ensure a transparent election system. By implementing transparency, the elected political party could get a chance to serve the nation. Moreover, this may also enable the end of dynastic politics. Additionally, building unity and national integrity among the public may help set aside ethnic and linguistic differences so that the political leaders don’t further exploit the nation for their political interests. So, national integrity in the state would push the political parties to work in favour of the state. 

      Next, political parties and stakeholders must work mutually and collaborate for Pakistan’s betterment. Similarly, encouraging public participation may help pluck the country out of the political darkness. The active role of the public in politics would hold politicians accountable. Moreover, enforcing constitutional law in a true spirit and adequately working government can turn the tide and put the country on the right track. As a result, the political parties would restrain themselves from skipping the pro-state attitude.

      A critical analysis of Pakistan’s political instability uncovers a complicated web of interconnected challenges. Despite reduced direct intervention, the entrenched military presence overshadows Pakistan’s political landscape. This continued military domination has inhibited the development of solid democratic institutions, resulting in a cyclical sequence of unstable governments. Furthermore, the inability to handle ethnic, linguistic, and religious issues effectively has worsened political fragmentation, hampering the establishment of a unified national identity. The existence of illiterate or undereducated political representatives exacerbates the situation by impeding effective policymaking and governance. These issues, taken together, threaten Pakistan’s political stability, resulting in adverse economic effects such as reduced foreign investment and sluggish economic growth. Pakistan must prioritize its way out of this morass.

      In conclusion, political instability in Pakistan is a complex and multi-faceted issue, and addressing it will require a comprehensive and integrated approach. By addressing the underlying causes, strengthening democratic institutions, promoting ethnic and religious tolerance, and addressing economic instability, Pakistan can work towards establishing a stable and effective democratic system and a brighter future for its citizens. Further, the indirect influence of the military in politics, like its direct involvement, is dangerous. The indirect overshadowing of politics disables the leadership from operating and performing political duties, hindering political and economic development. Moreover, it has robbed the nation’s bright future and has pushed the state to the brink of implosion. However, conducting transparent and unbiased elections, building the concept of national integrity, enforcing constitutional laws in a true sense, and encouraging public participation may help control the issue. 

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