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An uncertain year

On the eve of the new year, it is my annual practice to figure out what we lost and what we gained during the passing year. Undoubtedly, the year 2023 will be remembered as a year of uncertainty and trouble for Pakistan. If on the one hand, people were distressed by inflation and unemployment, then on the other our policymakers also seemed helpless in combatting the challenges that emerged throughout the year.

I remember that during the era of General Musharraf when a well-known European telecom company entered the Pakistani market, it was seen as a positive move for the country’s economy. Unfortunately, despite providing excellent services in Pakistan, it did not have the fortune to celebrate its 20th anniversary and had to withdraw all its business from Pakistan.

A similar situation was faced by the business community in the previous year; disappointed with the future, the community seriously planned to wind up their business from here. Reportedly, more than 800,000 Pakistani nationals have immigrated abroad to seek better career opportunities, and news of tragic accidents of illegal immigrants also made headlines frequently.

I had warned before as well that the US’s chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan was not the right time to leave the region as its negative effects would directly affect Pakistan. Later, it was proved that the critical situation in Afghanistan not only created a dollar crisis in Pakistan, but our country has also had to face terrorism once again. We should have implemented the policy that we devised in 2023 for the return of Afghan citizens living illegally in Pakistan. Now we should show commitment and stay strong for the implementation in letter and spirit.

Politically, the year 2023 proved to be a disturbing one in which the country was in a state of uncertainty and doubt. There was genuine concern that Pakistan was going to default. Similarly, the dollar rate was on the rise daily. However, after the election schedule was announced by the Election Commission of Pakistan in the last month of the year, the political situation became much clearer.

In the year 2023, my column on ‘Election astrology’ was one of the most popular columns on which I received an overwhelming response. Based on Vedic astrology, I made clear that if the national elections are held on the 8th day of the second month of the year 2024, then the stars are in favour of senior politician Asif Ali Zardari to lead the country. The prediction has also come under discussion in various national newspapers and TV shows.

At this time there is a dire need for political stability in the country which can only be made possible through free and fair elections. Regardless of astrology, the ground realities are indicating that our country cannot afford confrontation and at this time the country needs a politician who believes in the politics of reconciliation and who knows how to shake hands with political opponents instead of taking revenge.

At the moment, the future of both the PPP and PTI is looking bright at the public level. However, the political situation is still not very favourable for Imran Khan in the general elections until he completes the karmic process of his past deeds.

In my view, if any manipulation has been done to impose an unpopular agenda on the people, then 2024 will prove to be even more troublesome than the previous five years. It is therefore better that we think about a national government consisting of technocrats with representatives of each political party.

I am also trying to come to parliament with the power of the vote of the educated so I can play a better role in uplifting the socio-economic conditions of the country through a blue economy, tourism, and other development projects.

Dr Ramesh Kumar Vankwani, "An uncertain year," The News. 2024-01-05.
Keywords: Political science , Political issues , Political situation , Elections , Terrorism , Asif Ali Zardari , Imran Khan , Pakistan , PPP , PTI