There is no need to mince words: Pakistan politics is going downhill. This is no surprise. Given the atmosphere and the clashes brewing up in the country where Supreme Court’s intervention has been sought to prevent anarchy is a self-speaking story of the threat of anarchy there.
Everyone in Pakistan is anxious about the fresh spell of uncertainty hanging in air. It is particularly ominous because Organisation of Islamic Conference is meeting in Islamabad on Tuesday and Wednesday to deliberate on the unity of thought and policies among the Muslim nations across the world in the country that is riven with political clashes between the government and the opposition, and government and army confrontation.
Islamabad may put up a facade of welcoming the OIC delegates that started their work on Tuesday, but the grim realities have not remained hidden from them. The political instability and economic fragility of Pakistan will be watched closely by the OIC members.
This is a moment of national anxiety in Pakistan. The people are angry with their political system and they know that not only their relations with the West are downhill but also that the current situation would impact its relationship with the Muslim Ummah.
A country that cannot patch its differences and is lost in physical and hostile rhetoric cannot work for the broader unity of the Islamic nations. Whenever there is political churning in Pakistan, the army’s shadows become larger, and this time, it is quite large as reports are rife about serious differences between Prime Minister Imran Khan and the Chief of Army Staff Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa, which have added greater anxiety with the new inputs that Khan may replace Gen. Bajwa.
This backdrop is an ugly spectacle for the OIC foreign ministers, who Pakistan claims would chart a new direction to counter the Islamophobia and all other problems facing the Islamic world.
Pakistan is a founding member of this 57-nation bloc, hence greater responsibility towards the group and the world. Its importance also lies in the fact that it is the only Muslim state with nuclear power status.
No one knows in the rest of the world, as to how Pakistan will come out of this crisis, or it will lose the battle within its own boundaries.
The OIC, in particular would be keeping a watch over the things because anything happening before, during and after the moot would be seen as much of the grouping’s responsibility as that of the Pakistan government.
It is like Imran Khan being, which of course he was, in Moscow when Russia invaded Ukraine. The troubles in Pakistan impact the neighbours, South Asia and also the world order which is already facing high-velocity turbulence.
This moot is being hosted by Pakistan when its foreign relations are the most frayed they have been in years, with United States having nurtured new suspicions about Islamabad after the American troops departed Afghanistan amidst the chaos created by Taliban takeover of the war-torn country.
There, still is an issue, why President Biden has not spoken to Prime Minister Khan. Now it is more than 14 months that Biden has been in office, and he has spoken to most of the Indian leaders, and what must be hurting Islamabad in particular, because Biden has not only spoken to the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi so many times, but also hosted him in Washington.
The problem with Pakistan, as usual, is that it wants India-Pakistan to be seen in hyphenated prism. In fact, at times it sees itself more important than Delhi because it is strategically located and the world needed it on many occasions.
America has used Pakistan twice and abandoned it. America has its own interests to guard, and as many scholars have noted one way or the other that Pakistan’s leaders have looked to balance US irritation by building stronger ties with China.
That’s not the solution, because China is helping Pakistan as long as it thinks that Islamabad will help it facilitate making Balochistan, where it has occupied Gwadar port city, as its colony.
Pakistan has already surrendered Gilgit-Baltistan and Pakistan occupied Jammu and Kashmir and their eater resources and minerals to Beijing. These places are on the map of Pakistan, but the real control lies with China.
The OIC may not be amused by Pakistan-China relations, though Pakistan has not spoken even a word about the Muslims in China; the Islamic world knows what is happening there. Pakistan is torn by its own contradictions. Islamophobia is not confined to the Europe, it is very much there in China, but Pakistan has no guts to speak against China.
Prime Minister Imran Khan should know that the OIC would not be wary of the country’s leadership which has set it against the army but also review on their own that how much the PTI government has delivered on its ambitious promise of Islamic Welfare State.
As it has turned out that the people in Pakistan are disillusioned with the government as they are reeling from rising prices and worsening law and order situation. There could not have been a worse scene than the storming of the Sindh House of the opposition PPP in Islamabad by PTI activists. This ugly incident must not have gone unnoticed among the OIC members.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.
The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.