Pakistan; her core issue and contemporary threats

Ayman Hameed
For Pakistan’s 75 years of independence, what we need most is a reality check and thorough understanding of why we have failed to achieve our dream of a welfare state. What went wrong in our short history? Considering we’re still young when compared to other giants like the Great Britian and America which are hundreds of years old if not more, that still doesn’t give us an excuse to be in a sorry state we’re in. Since the beginning there always has been a power struggle between civilians and establishment to control the country. In most countries, such as our immediate neighbour India who got her freedom with us, there is one source of power, which is the executive branch’s Prime Minister. As for us, there always have been two sources of power, one in Islamabad and one in Pindi. The tug of war between civilians looking to establish democracy and dictators looking to overthrow them when they cross a certain line has resulted in political instability that has hampered Pakistan’s development for years. Only two governments have completed there five years term and no Prime Minister ever has completed his or her five years tenure. Every Prime Minister has either been assassinated, overthrown, disqualified or has been forced to resign. The latest in the list is Imran Khan who became the first Prime Minister to be sent home through No Confidence Vote in Parliament. If Pakistan is to have human and infrastructure development, it needs sustained stability. One that allows for governments to implement their policies and visions without having to fear martial law or other threats to send them home. Democracy needs to thrive for it to become strong enough so that only the competent moves forwards while the liability is removed from picture. Institutional boundaries need to be clarified and implemented if Pakistan is to ever have a bright future.The other things that demands our undivided attention is evaluation of our biggest threat. Until 9/11, our biggest threat was India and then came terrorism which still persists. But Pakistan has largely overcome terrorism and there is fragile peace that exists which needs to be maintained. Terrorism is again on the rise since 2020 but there is another threat, much bigger existential threat that looms over Pakistan; climate change. Pakistan is in the top 10 most affected countries by climate change. Only 5% of our land area is covered by forests which should be atleast 20-25% according to United Nations. We have failed to build any major dams except Tarbela and Mangla and now we have acute water shortage which will only get worse. Pakistan failed to invest in clean energy and even now relies on coal based power which is a deadly for environment. No plans were made for clean public transport which means polluting vehicles such as Rakshaws still roam the cities spreading dangerous fumes. Jacobabad is the hottest city in the world and our glaciers are melting. Pakistan needs $14 billion dollars annually to combat climate change and yet Pakistan has no money whatsoever for this and its barely functioning on the revenue it generates and needs loan to fuction properly. Our rulers need to plan for the long term if we are ever to survive this mess.

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