Internal factors are creating more unrest in Pakistan as compared to external factors. These power politics between the political parties in this filthy manner becomes a major hurdle in the way of both development and national integration.

Since the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf (PTI) came into power, opposition parties including the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) and others have been playing the role of a barricade in the way of Khan’s governance, just as the process of accountability and the fight against corruption started across the country by incumbent government. The insecurity among the corrupt leaders of opposition parties prompted them to make an alliance against Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Making and breaking of alliances has been a prominent feature of party politics for the past seven decades. For instance, the Combine Opposition Party (COP) in 1964, the Democratic Action Committee (DAC) in 1968, the Pakistan National Alliance (PNA) in 1977, the Movement for the Restoration of Democracy (MRD) in 1983 and the Alliance for the Restoration of Democracy (ARD) in 2002. These alliances would invariably break up once the objective was achieved and the component parties would go back to their old rivalries and engage in a political battle for political power.

Once again, opposition parties recently formed an alliance — the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM). This formation of PDM brought bitter rivals PPP and PML-N together and aimed at mounting more and more pressure on the incumbent government. It has announced a phased plan to organise rallies across the country from October and gradually rachet up the momentum. The strategy is to make the final assault some time in March, before the critical Senate elections, which would give PTI the control of the upper house of parliament.

The protests come at a time when Khan’s government is struggling to cope with a severe economic decline, unemployment and the worst inflation rates in Asia, causing a steep rise in food prices which have led to mass discontent. All these issues were triggered by the coronavirus pandemic, with the country’s economy contracting for the first time in 68 years in June. The opposition made them a tool against the contemporary government. Additionally, it is likely to be expected that the commodities’ prices would surely go down in the upcoming days as PM Imran Khan himself is looking after this.

The major battleground is Punjab, the biggest and most powerful province, which is also the political stronghold of PML-N. The party is endeavouring hard to grab public support by using the tactics of defaming Imran Khan’s government. The Sindh government (PPP) is becoming a hurdle in the way of the federal government (PTI) over two new islands, Bundal Island and Dangi Islands as well.

If we look internationally, global power politics has again become the reality of the world and Pakistan is a significant country. Both corners, the western and eastern, want Pakistan in their camp due to the significance of its geographical location. The country opted to grow with Asia which resulted in external pressure.

Western pressure is being applied through FATF and IMF. Under the current circumstances, the government cannot afford any kind of strike or resentment by political parties which can diminish its image at the national as well as global levels.

This is apparent in how, the United States and India through FATF and other means have been pressurising Pakistan on the pretext of clamping down on money laundering which is allegedly being used by various terrorist organisations within Pakistan.

What is therefore needed is to end the blame-game and dirty politics and promote national integration. This would be beneficial for parties and their leaders and not just for the country itself. The slogan that is mandatory to be filled in peoples’ minds is we all are Pakistani and have to work for the betterment of the motherland. As the founder of the nation, Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah said on June 15, 1948 “we are now all Pakistanis—not Balochis, Pathans, Sindhis, Bengalis, Punjabis and so on—and as Pakistani we must feel, behave and act and we should be proud to be known as Pakistanis and nothing else.”