Political chaos refers to riots or unrests that result from misunderstandings between people and their governing authority or among governing authorities. Pakistan has been hit by political chaos for a number of years where people have been rioting on the streets demanding a change in the system of government. Recent chaos is a result of disagreement between citizens and decision of the supreme court to order arrest of Pakistan prime minister Raja Pervez Ashraf on suspicion of corruption and nepotism amid anti-government rally led by Dr Tahirul Qadri against that decision. Corruption allegations against Ashraf are old, and the case has been working its way through the courts for some time now [3 years] but the timing of the announcement now threatens to light up massive unrests in country's alarming political crisis. Citizens believe that the decision of the court was politically motivated by the chief justice and his political allies. The supreme court dismissed the prime minister Ashraf's predecessor from office. The reason was that he created obstacles in the anti-corruption efforts against president Zardari, who is well known to be in battle with the chief justice due to the greed for power. The same court has recently ordered the arrest of the prime minister, and citizens believe that justice has not been served and this arrest has been planned politically (Cohen 43).
This chaos has also resulted due to some citizens' disapproval of Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri, a government critic and a self-proclaimed revolutionary leader, who has been leading a protest march calling for ejection of Pakistani President Asif Ali Zadari from office. Some citizens were seen celebrating Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri, their revolutionary leader, and the arrest of the prime minister Ashraf outside the Pakistan parliament. Others were broadcasted via media rioting and were firing guns in the air detesting court’s decision regarding the arrest of a prime minister and their disapproval of their revolutionary leader, whom they accused of disrespecting the government or the Pakistani people, who voted for current leaders democratically during elections in spring 2008 (Munck & Peter 65).
Pakistan is currently witnessing political unrests due to these differences between citizens and the democratic government. Citizens are right in some way by criticizing and rebelling against their current government since it has not lived to their expectations and has not discharged its duties for the benefit of citizens. Since the democratic government took over from the dictatorship in 2008, many problems appeared within the country that have forced citizens to express their distrust to the current government (Nawaz 82). Most of the Pakistanis believe that the conditions have worsened from the time of the election of this democratic government and they prefer the old dictatorship government. This is supported by the fact that prices for food have increased to very high levels since the democratic government took over and more and more people cannot afford to buy a daily meal or even a second daily meal. Supplies of electricity, natural gas, and gasoline have decreased due to poor management by the government. This has also led to a situation where people are freezing as the means of heating are insufficient. Costs of transportation have also increased rapidly due to the increase in prices of fuel as a result of scarcity. Pakistan also has other significant problems such as increased terrorism, which has caused security concerns among citizens. Violence against religious minorities has also became an issue within the country due to tribalism caused by conflicts among their leaders, and the government is not doing enough to prevent it. This growing radicalization of numerous groups of society and the conflicts with country’s unstable neighbor Afghanistan has further worsened the situation. Cases of violent power struggles in Karachi, which is a port city, have also contributed to protests and unrests as political leaders are fighting for power and control over the port. Water shortages have also become common. Natural disasters such as floods and earthquakes are also occurring, and the government has not done enough to assist the affected group of people (Rashid 78). The government has done more harm than good as far as governing the country is concerned. As a result, people have lost their trust in the current democratic government, and most citizens are advocating for previous dictatorship government. People are continuously rioting without fear of military intervention as most of them believe that military government will perform better than their current government. Military influence has reduced since the current system has stated that only it and the opposition can bring about changes in governance, which was perceived as a way of discouraging revolution. These desperations about living conditions as well as resistance against a corrupt government have been sufficient to make people willing to give their all in the protest and try to bring about change. The thing that is most important for people is that the quality of their life will increase in the future and their next leader in the forthcoming elections will protect their welfare and solve current problems. People are faced with dilemmas because they do not know which leader can solve the existing problems, and many think that if current democratic government remains in power, current problems will not be addressed. Current political situation is forcing the military to almost come in and take control of the government for interests of national security. One of the top military personnel has even said that if the current situation persists and becomes worse, then the military will be forced to interfere and take control of the government to enhance national security despite the planned elections (Rashid 45). People are not against the military taking over as they feel that the military would provide solutions to some of their problems. This has created more unrests within the government of the country as the government fears that the powerful military will force them out and take control of the country.
The executive arm of the government comprises the presidency. In Pakistan, the president of Pakistan must be a Muslim. This is in line with constitutional provisions. He is elected by an Electoral College to serve for five years. The Electoral College consists of members of the Senate, National Assembly as well as members of the assemblies at provincial level. The president is also eligible for reelection. However, the constitution stipulates that an individual should hold that office for more than two consecutive terms. Moreover, the president may resign or get impeached for incapacity to execute his mandate or for gross misconduct. This is if two thirds of parliament approves the same. The president is advised by the prime minister. However, he has residual powers. For instance, the president has a power to dissolve parliament at will. The prime minister in Pakistan is appointed by members of parliament. This is done through voting.
Current political system in Pakistan has been stagnant since 1970′s. No changes have taken place in administration since then. The position of the head of a state has seen competition between the head of the army and few political leaders here and there. Political parties have a role to play in political stability of the country. Almost each of the parties present represents a particular ethnic group. This means that no party has support in all regions. This has brought about regional imbalance as some areas develop slower than others. The number of political problems seems to be growing each day. Moreover, the economic situation in Pakistan is weak. This is a result of bad politics and governance (Zhirinovskii%u0306 27).
Pakistan has had a long history of political unrests for many years since the early days when the United States of America sent its troops to Pakistan in the hunt for Osama Bin Laden. The fights between US troops and Osama Bin Laden was one of the major causes of unrests within the country. The Pakistan military was also criticizing the entry of the US military into their country and did not like the operation of the military within their borders. This created conflicts with politicians who were in favor of US military operation. It is clear that democracy does not suit Pakistan since it has brought in more damages than benefits. The democratic government has been constantly going into war with its opposition in the scramble for power, which has divided the nation. Concentration on scramble for power between various parties of the democratic government has led to mismanagement of public resources within the country. The military is under a lot of pressure due to deteriorating conditions. This chaos is negatively affecting the relationship between Pakistan and its neighbors, such as India, after violent boarder disputes, where soldiers from both countries were killed. Diplomatic ties between Pakistan and India can only be rejuvenated through dialogue and negotiations between the two countries.