Why Are Protests Taking Place in Pakistan?
Written by Ahaan Anand, a grade 9 student.
For the umpteenth time, Pakistan’s politics is in a state of flux. According to a World Bank report from 2020, Pakistan’s economy may fall into a major recession and has predicted a decline in the economy of about 2.2%. Reports state that rape cases and child abuse cases are on the rise too.
Written by Ahaan Anand, a grade 9 student
For the umpteenth time, Pakistan’s politics is in a state of flux. According to a World Bank report from 2020, Pakistan’s economy may fall into a major recession and has predicted a decline in the economy of about 2.2%. Reports state that rape cases and child abuse cases are on the rise too. But what does all this mean for the Pakistani government, and more importantly, what does it mean for the future of Pakistan?
Why did these protests start?
On 11th September, a woman, driving with her three kids at night was raped on the Lahore highway. This gruesome and horrific act sparked spontaneous protests across almost all major cities in Pakistan. These protests were conducted by an organization called Aurat March. The group set forth five demands, including an end to violence, affirmative steps by the government to uphold rights and ensure justice, removal of Lahore Capital City Police Officer Umer Sheikh and any other official who blames the woman, they have also demanded procedural reforms in-laws for all women and a transparent investigation. Pakistan’s economy has also taken a huge hit due to factors such as the COVID-19 pandemic and mishandling of the civil population by the government. This was
Steps being taken by the opposition parties
The situation of Pakistan’s Government looks grim. The alliance – which has brought the Bhutto and the Sharif scions together – is demanding that the Imran Khan government step down over mismanagement of the economy and the civilian population of the country. Moreover, 11 Pakistani opposition parties have formed an alliance with an action plan to eradicate the Imran Khan government. The issues at hand are now rising prices, power cuts, closing businesses, and the acute economic crisis in Pakistan. Women’s rights are no longer the topic for discussion and protests are now not being held on the same.
The involvement of the Pakistani Army in these protests
On 16th October, the day of the first protest in Gujranwala, Former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif addressed all his supporters and accused the army general, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, of altering the nation’s policies and rigging the 2018 elections as per his wish. Former president Nawaz Sharif does not blame Imran Khan for the current disheartening situation in Pakistan, instead, he believes that those who brought him to power (the army) are to be blamed.
The current situation in Pakistan and the future of the Country
As described by Pakistani leaders themselves, the country has been destroyed by the Imran Khan government. According to a report from the Washington Post, The Imran Khan government has cut all diplomatic ties with India with regard to the Kashmir issue. According to another report for the New York Times, Pakistan’s economy has gone into a state of distress due to the policies of the Imran Khan Government and hence Poverty rates have risen greatly over the past two years. Sources also claim that living conditions in Pakistan are degrading rapidly due to the shortage of funding of the Pakistani Government.
In-all, the state of affairs in Pakistan does not look very bright. Adversary parties are coming together and forming alliances day by day and they are all uniting towards the same goal; to eradicate Imran Khan and his government from the position of Prime Minister. There are still a few unanswered questions. Will the situation of women improve in Pakistan after the protests have taken such a huge drastic step? Will the government of Pakistan introduce policies in order to bring the economy back from such major distress? Will the Imran Khan Government eventually be eradicated from the position of Prime Minister?
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