In Pakistan, the economic slump adds to the political crisis

Elections in Pakistan will finally be held in January 2024. Until then, the country will continue to be led by an interim head of government, Anwar ul-Haq Kakar, representative of a party from Balochistan. Since August 12, this senator known to be close to the army has managed current affairs, while the country is going through a major economic and social crisis.

The electoral commission opted for a timetable that suits the Sharif clan, but which contradicts the Constitution. Normally, the vote should have been called within ninety days after the end of the mandate, in November at the latest. Officially, this deadline should make it possible to redistrict the constituencies on the basis of the population census carried out in May. Unofficially, he will facilitate the return of Nawaz Sharif after a four-year exile in London. In November 2019, the former prime minister, sentenced to of seven years’ imprisonment in a corruption case, had obtained permission to temporarily leave the country for medical reasons. He never came home.

Imran Khan neutralized

The 73-year-old fugitive is expected in Islamabad on October 21, and he plans to lead the campaign of his party, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, despite the lifetime ban on holding public office that has hit him. His brother, Shehbaz Sharif, who succeeded Imran Khan in June 2022, prepared the ground for him by passing a law limiting the period of ineligibility of parliamentarians to five years.

From London, Nawaz Sharif began to shoot his arrows. “Today, the Pakistani Prime Minister goes from country to country begging for funds, while India has reached the Moon and is organizing G20 meetings. Why couldn’t Pakistan achieve the feats of India? Who is responsible for this situation? », he asked via video link during a meeting of his party in Lahore on September 18. It targets the former army chief, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, and his main opponent, Imran Khan, who succeeded him in 2018.

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The latter was neutralized. He has been languishing in prison since August 5 and risks staying there for a long time. The former prime minister has just been indicted for sedition, an offense punishable by death, accused of inciting his supporters to attack public and military buildings. He was already the subject of more than 150 legal proceedings ranging from corruption to incitement to violence.

In his Attock jail, the former cricket champion probably does not have access to the Internet, but the investigative site The Intercept just supported his allegations. Imran Khan has always claimed that his ouster from power in April 2022, after the vote on a motion of no confidence in Parliament, was the result of a plot by the Pakistani army supported by the United States. For months, he repeated this refrain on the platforms, mobilizing gigantic crowds to demand early elections.

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