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EDITORIAL: It’s not every day that a politician’s interview goes viral and impacts the national narrative quite like former senator and PML-N leader Mushahid Hussein’s recent revelations to an Arab media outlet have done. Perhaps there was no better way to save face than to accept the truth, especially after former caretaker prime minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar’s taunt about “revealing information about Form-47” – during an altercation with another PML-N leader – effectively pulled the rug from under the house of cards that is the present ruling dispensation.

And although expecting a call from Washington, should a certain Donald Trump return to the presidency there, may be expecting too much, there is clearly no doubt that Pakistan’s current political impasse has started worrying a number of countries, including the United States. The ex-senator also seems to have settled the ongoing argument about who should talk to whom with a nice one-liner. Indeed, if we’re looking to talk to India even when hating Pakistan is the biggest and easiest political draw there, and have talked to TTP (Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan) even when it was attacking us, then surely we can also finally let politicians who represent millions of people up and down the country out of prison and hold civil discussions with them as well.

It takes two to tango, of course, so all sides will have to show political maturity, that crucial ingredient that has been missing from Pakistan’s democracy for quite a while now. Those at the very top must realise that the country’s very survival now depends on taking everybody along. We are right at the edge. The financial situation is so fragile and default still such a real possibility that even completely non-economic, exogenous factors that can strain relations with some countries, especially America, can unwind the IMF bailout arrangement and suddenly shatter the entire economy; and the country with it.

Yet here we are, adding to the economic and security threats that spook foreign investors with completely unnecessary political point-scoring. The burden of command dictates that those in power must take the first step towards de-escalation. They must also be very careful not to misread the pulse of the people; lest they trigger the kind of public social wrath that history is littered with. The state has a lot to answer for, especially the elite that has ruled over it in the time that we were reduced from a progressive, forward-looking nation to a country on its knees begging for bailouts.

Ideally, the government will take this moment to hit the reset button and begin a dialogue with all principal political players with the one-point agenda of getting the country back on its feet, starting with the economy of course. The people have had enough of the circus at the top and the writing is now on the wall for everybody to see. If the government chooses to ignore it, then it must be prepared to go down in history as the one that let a very important, perhaps last, opportunity to save Pakistan.

Time will tell.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

Comments

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Zia Ullah Khan May 12, 2024 09:23am
Thanks BR for this reality check. If Business Recorder has to openly write this editorial then so called establishment better listen.
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KU May 12, 2024 10:25am
Our sovereignty lies in the hands of West, just as the assets of our leaders, so it makes sense. Character speaks loud n clear when a ex-PM calls wheat scandal/other scandals, ''storm in a tea cup''.
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zh May 13, 2024 04:02am
If all political parties agree to solve all political problems without the help and interference of the establishment. They could eliminate the root cause of the political rot - interference.
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Tariq Qurashi May 13, 2024 10:27am
As a nation we are not very proactive, and only tend to react when problems hit us in the face. Well, now the problems are hitting us frequently, and we need to urgently get the country back on track.
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