Year 2021, hopes and expectations | Political economics


There had been years of passion

– scorching, cold,

And a lot of desperation and anger

climb high,

Pay attention to the whiteness,

Multiple pain,

Among young people, among

weak and old,

And the pensive spirit of pity

whispered: “Why? “

How ironic. These lines constitute the first stanza of the famous poem, And there was a great calm composed by Thomas Hardy (1840-1928), the English poet of the romantic tradition. The poem describes the horrors of the First World War. A survey of media reports, editorial analysis and media channels during 2021 could leave the feeling that the stanza is a fair representation of our situation.

This poem was released at the signing of the armistice on November 11, 1918. Does Pakistan today resemble the Europe of 1918, devastated by the ravages of an unprecedented four-year war (1914- 1918) or does such a description go beyond reality?

Controlling the process of narrative construction has acquired paramount importance in certain political orders. In the case of Pakistan, control is currently exercised by the opposition. Recovering it will be the most formidable challenge for the Pakistani government of Tehreek-i-Insaf in 2022.

Making a lasting impression through the media is one of the most effective political tools. The sooner the government understands this, the better it will be for it. For now, he is losing the battle of perceptions. Prime Minister Imran Khan and his political colleagues urgently need some sort of relationship between the mainstream media and the government.

In the current scenario, marked by socio-political polarization and geostrategic uncertainty, the government and state institutions need unanimity with the media. This may be the first and most decisive step towards forming a consensual political framework to address and resolve the critical issues besetting Pakistan. These problems include institutional degradation, structural diseases and corruption.

Initiatives such as convening a meeting of OIC foreign ministers in Islamabad, holding a dialogue with the Taliban government in Kabul to resolve the tangled border dispute, and enunciating the very first national security policy bodes well for the future. These are likely to build government confidence. The OIC debate has helped Pakistan to emerge from its isolation. It was a kind of recognition of his international role, especially in the Muslim world.

Most importantly, Pakistan has succeeded in highlighting the Afghan crisis and bringing international attention to this war-torn country. Furthermore, through the OIC debate, Pakistan mobilized opinion in the Muslim world so that the Afghan masses could be saved from a desperate situation.

The most salient fact in national security policy is the osmosis between civilian and military rulers. It is hoped that the two vital components of the Pakistani state will continue to complement each other throughout 2022. Pakistan’s livelihood and stability may depend on it. Political stability and economic viability are compromised when these two things go against the grain. The hope is that political chaos and disorder will be avoided by ensuring unanimity between the two at all costs.

A puzzling aspect of Pakistan’s democratic experience has been the ineffective role of parliament in holding meaningful debates on issues of national / social importance. The basic decency and civility required to interact in an informed manner was sorely lacking. Frequent display of expletives and vitriolic joints need not be a recurring feature of the most important organ of state.

It is imperative that public officials devote time in the National Assembly and the Senate to reflect on issues important to the well-being of the people, instead of indulging in rants against their opponents.

Parliament must be an active channel for the expression of public dissent. Otherwise, groups like the TLP will continue to mobilize multitudes in the streets to demonstrate their dissent and thus legitimize their existence and their authority. Dissent must be democratized to prevent anarchic spectacles in Pakistan from becoming the media spotlight around the world.

State and government are expected to review and revise their ways and means of carrying out their policies. They should stem the rise in commodity prices. So far, the government has focused entirely on improving macroeconomic indicators. Microeconomics, which mainly concerns the working class, has remained a dead letter.

The practical manifestation of political initiatives is imperative. Whether the projects are profitable or embody extravagance is of little concern to the general public. A strong and assertive government must solve all problems.

The deterioration of educational standards, at almost all levels, deserves to be highlighted. Middle and secondary education commissions and all the exercises they perform to assess students are nothing short of derision. So many students who get full grades are amazing.

All in all, secondary education committees have lost their credibility because they lack a semblance of academic rigor. It’s the same with many universities. Public sector higher education institutions present a dismal scenario. Some reform process is expected to rectify the anomalous practices.

The Punjab Education Ministry must act to respond to serious complaints from various quarters. Around 900 professors and associate professors previously working in independent institutions were recalled. They are still waiting for the publications. In such a state, one is not even paid a monthly salary.

The government of Punjab is also expected to launch its own programs to eradicate begging and make school education compulsory. Hopes and expectations are vital (impulses). They keep us afloat in the most extenuating circumstances. Pakistanis must not part with hope. This is what matters most. We’re supposed to hum along to Emily Dickinson:

“Hope” is the stuff with feathers –

Who perches in the soul –

And sing the tune without the words –

And never stop – at all –

and a writer.

The author is a history teacher and writer. He can be contacted at [email protected]

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