Alarmed by the launch of Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf’s (PTI’s) protest campaign titled ‘Jail Bharo Tehrik’, the incumbent government has taken certain austerity measures with a view to correcting fiscal imbalances despite looming elections.

Curtailing current expenditure is the need of the hour for the country’s economic crisis is only deepening day in, day out. Although it would be too early to make any comment on the prospects of the PTI’s new protest drive, it is increasingly clear that the incumbent government is no longer in a position to delay the general election at will or in whatever way it pleases.

While the government deserves praise for doing what it ought to have done at least six months ago (ministers are now forgoing salaries, perks and paying their utility bills out of their own pockets, etc, as part of government’s austerity measures to cut current expenditure), the opposition, PTI, may be commended for persevering and remaining steadfast ever since its chairman, the then prime minister Imran Khan, failed to survive vote of no-confidence against him in April last year.

Last but not least, despite global democratic backsliding, democracy in Pakistan is in ascendency. Unfortunately, however, what is missing in the case of Pakistan is ascendency of democratic passion.

Naila Rahman (Karachi)

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023


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