New Delhi: In 2022, political crises and economic collapse in Pakistan are likely to intensify, leading to regime change or mass protests that will pose a new challenge to the country with serious implications for security and political choices. foreign policy, Friday Times reported.
The “hybrid regime” that has ruled Pakistan since 2018 has become hostage to internal contradictions and external pressures throughout 2021.
Politically, the ruling PTI government led by Imran Khan has gone from one crisis to another; and has been rescued several times by the military establishment, according to the report.
“Since the return of parliamentary democracy (diluted and now hybrid) in 2008, no prime minister has been able to complete his term, be it Yusuf Raza Gillani of the Pakistan People’s Party or Nawaz Sharif of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz. The question that looms in early 2022 is: how and why will Imran Khan be an exception to this trend? An even more important question is how would such instability lead to an economic recovery? “
The dismantling of the hybrid regime already underway will not be completed without a major political crisis. The year 2022 is when the outgoing army chief Qamar Ahmed Bajwa retires and his successor is to be appointed by the prime minister.
“The Prime Minister in 2021 dragging his feet on the issue of notification to the new DG of Inter Service Intelligence (ISI) made his choices quite clear. Much like in the past, the civilian prime minister will be embroiled in a long-term conflict with the most powerful institution over this transition. This will be the driving force that pushes Khan out of power or consolidates him for the future, ”the report said.
For Pakistan, membership of the IMF and international financial markets will be a major challenge that would require US intervention or assurances that will have to be accepted by civilian and military leaders. Dealing with this delicate process could lead to further friction within the hybrid regime and it will be a real test for the prime minister to navigate these murky waters, according to the report.
The success of the opposition parties in the by-elections, local body polls should have been a revelation to Khan and his party that bulldozing new laws and rules without consensus would have a serious backlash, he added.
The year 2022 will also be a year when the Pakistani military establishment attempts to reset its relations with political forces, the media and civil society.