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    Pakistan Struggles with Political Instability, Economic Decline, and Terrorism Following Regime Change

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    Pakistan has been facing several crises since Imran Khan’s exit in 2022 through a no-confidence vote. The Pakistan Democratic Movement’s coalition government, led by Shehbaz Sharif, has been struggling to address multiple challenges, including terrorist attacks on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, economic crisis, dwindling forex reserves, and threats to constitutional and human rights. Here are the six main crises that are currently haunting Pakistan:

    1. Political Crisis: The submission of a no-confidence motion against former Prime Minister Imran Khan triggered a political crisis. The ongoing instability is damaging the political system and sowing the roots of many other crises. The recent protest marches by Imran Khan and his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) workers across major cities and subsequent clashes with law enforcement have made parts of Lahore and Islamabad look like active war zones.

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    2. Constitutional Crisis: Pakistan’s constitutional institutions have clashed with the judiciary, claiming that those in power are clamping down on their freedom, and institutions are disobeying them. The recent bill clipping powers of the Pakistan Chief Justice and the ECP disobeying the top court’s order and not holding elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces are examples of how the constitution’s writ is not being followed. The judiciary itself faces conflicts as there is a difference of opinions between the Chief Justice and other Supreme Court judges.

    3. Economic Crisis: Pakistan remains in the midst of an economic crisis, partly due to political unrest and instability, but also because successive governments did not resolve economic issues when the situation was not so dire. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is yet to finalize the agreement and has imposed harsh conditions on the government, putting it between a rock and a hard place as elections near. Food, gas, and oil prices have risen, with inflation hitting 47% on average weekly, setting a new record.

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    4. Diplomatic Crisis: Pakistan also faces diplomatic isolation as China, Saudi Arabia, and UAE have limited their help to Islamabad due to rising political instability.

    5. Security Crisis: The rise of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) aided by the 2021 Taliban takeover of Pakistan has led to unabated and at times deadly attacks on Pakistan Army and Pakistan police. Amidst all this, there are reports of rifts within the Pakistani military establishment. The attacks on the security establishment have intensified, with terror attacks rising in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and adjoining provinces.

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    6. Human Rights Crisis: The clashes between PTI workers, civil society activists, and the government have put Pakistan in an uncomfortable position internationally. The PTI is urging its chapters abroad to speak to the US and other Western governments about human rights conditions in the country. The Pakistan President Arif-ur-Rehman Alvi wrote to Prime Minister Sharif recently outlining the seriousness of incidents of human rights violations, alleged atrocities of police and law enforcement agencies, and alleged disproportionate use of force against Pakistani citizens.

    These crises have taken a toll on Pakistan’s stability and development. Observers are urging Pakistan’s leadership to take steps to address these issues and work towards a better future for the country.

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    Rajesh M
    Rajesh M
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