A step back

The country needs a breather

Taking a step back is not always a step in the backward direction but sometimes it can be a step in the right direction. A step in the right direction does not always mean a step in the forward direction. Given the conditions and circumstances, a backward step could be a life-saving step– a positive step and a step in the right direction.

For example, a person moving towards a destination is about to be hit by a car on the road but suddenly he realizes the situation, analyzes the threat and takes a step or two back, and saves his life. He might have taken backward steps but only to save his life to move again.

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The same person could have miscalculated the gravity of the threat and continued moving and got hit by the car. He might have lost his life or could have damaged his chances of moving again on his feet toward the destination.

This applies to all life events, circumstances, and situations. Every individual, group, or community wants to go after targets, achieve goals and succeed in life by taking the right steps. For them, the right step is a step forward. In doing so, they forget the importance and need of stopping, taking a step back, and then starting again.

In our pursuit of goals and targets, we get so anxious and overcommitted that we forget the power of thinking and taking the right step at the right time.

Pakistan’s current economic situation needs political stability. It needs a capable government with a mandate to take effective steps. It is time all the stakeholders take a step back and take the country out of the turmoil. It will not be a backward step rather it will be a step in the right direction. 

Pakistan is going through a severe instability crisis for the previous six or seven months. And the crisis has only grown with time. The dilemma of all the stakeholders involved is that none of them is taking a step back and the worst part is that they are not thinking about it.

This is when miscalculations happen and result in bigger losses.

Amid as for the intensity and gravity of the matter, a stage was reached where it would have been considered a defeat for the side who would have acceded to the demand of others. Not taking into account the importance and need of that decision for the state.

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The Long March, that was temporarily discontinued after the assassination attempt on Imran Khan, began on November 10. Meanwhile, the time in between presented a small opportunity to all the stakeholders to find a solution to the current conundrum. It would have been a win-win situation for all as no one would have lost. Had the solution been sorted out, it would have given rise to a sigh of relief from the people of Pakistan.

The current turmoil is far more severe and tense than the earlier ones with a lot at stake for Pakistan and its people.

The situation can get out of hand very quickly because PTI supporters are more agitated and charged than ever after the life-attempt on Imran khan and the government is not willing to take a step back either.

The solution to even the most difficult problems can be found on the table. But, for that, at least all the stakeholders need to sit and try to find a solution.

The fundamental changes in any working system can be brought peacefully and efficiently by finding discrepancies and analyzing them, exploring the benefits of changes, and the agreement of all the parties involved for the changes. It can only happen with the realization of the need for change.

The question of modifications and amendments in the running of democracy in Pakistan can only be addressed if there is a realization among the stakeholders that evolution and change are necessary. Unless that happens every attempt is bound to fail. And this transition should be peaceful as it does not require any violence. In fact, anarchy and violence can be prevented in the future if there is an agreement among the stakeholders for the changes.

Pakistan needs a solution now. It cannot afford further polarization. The current mess will go out of hand if not controlled now.

Politicians are nothing without people. Institutions are nothing without people. And, both politicians and institutions are nothing without the state.

People coming against the institutions and losing trust in them and institutions losing their credibility and support will only harm Pakistan in the future. Having fought extremism and terrorism for years, we should not let polarization destabilize Pakistan further.

Elections are not that far away. Pakistan will ultimately get elections, if not now then in the next year. But the question is should Pakistan be destabilized in this case when elections are not that far away?

Pakistan’s current economic situation needs political stability. It needs a capable government with a mandate to take effective steps. It is time all the stakeholders take a step back and take the country out of the turmoil. It will not be a backward step rather it will be a step in the right direction.

Muhammad Ali Alvi
Muhammad Ali Alvi
The writer is freelance columnist

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