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Editor’s Note: A year to remember

January 5, 2014 at 6:41 pm | News Desk

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Year 2013 would always be remembered as the year that witnessed a rare event in Pakistan’s political history. The smooth transition of power from PPP to PMLN prior to May 2013 General Elections was truly a remarkable event that shaped the path for days to come. The people finally felt that Pakistan’s stumbling economy could not handle another crackdown on democracy. The five years of PPP saw the success in Gwadar port project and advancement in Pak-Iran Gas pipeline deal. The new government was expected to bring out good results on the issues it promised in its manifesto. As a matter of concern the energy crises and security were amongst the major issues at hand. Both these issues are still a topic of serious concern for the general public. Add the shift in relations with the US over the drone strikes and you get a true picture of post-election Pakistan.

2013 was a year that marked another financial landmark for Pakistan. The country paid its 25th installment to the IMF from its impending debt. A total of $6.2 billion have been paid by Pakistan to the IMF since 2011. The slumps in bullion rates along with the fluctuations in exchange rate for the US dollar were possibly other financial highlights of 2013.

As for the social and political front, the year was marked by the huge pre-election sit in by Dr. Tahir ul Qadri in Islamabad and the post-election rigging charges by PTI over unexpected results throughout Pakistan. Both the issues were taken as steps of political immaturity by the international community in general yet had a huge impact on the life of a common citizen of Pakistan. The legacies left by former Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and that by former Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhary are the ones that would mark the future of both the institutions in Pakistan. Military and Judiciary might change their perspective on political motivation on examples set by these two as they reshaped their institutional policies respectively.

The security issues remain the prime concern for the country as the nation oversees a slight decrease in the fundamentalist violence in the areas bordering with Afghanistan. The issue remains of prime concern in Karachi and Baluchistan where the situation gets worse every day. Security concerns remained the major challenge for the government that it has yet to take under control.

The New Year might not bring something revolutionary different for Pakistan in any of the mentioned fronts but it certainly holds the key for the next 3 years of Nawaz government. If PML-N somehow manages to formulate a consensus with PTI, PPP and other major political forces in the country, it could bring a revolutionary change as the US and NATO plan a pull out of its forces from Afghanistan. Pakistan holds the pivotal position to dictate its terms on the US and NATO at this crucial time yet it might fall behind if a political consensus is not developed. The key remains in the hand of third time premiere Nawaz Sharif who can write his destiny and that of the country during the first few months of 2014.

News Desk

Economic Affairs Editor

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