Post-Election Blame Game in Pakistan

Image Credits: ECP, Pakistan
  • Reading time:5 mins read
  • Post author:Sara Nazir
  • Post category:Diagnosis

The political climate of South Asia, particularly the electoral landscapes of India and Pakistan, is simmering as Pakistan goes through the post-election period, while India braces for its upcoming General Elections. The existent animosity between the two countries adds to the temperatures further resulting into a highly charged and volatile milieu.

All this is exacerbated due to political campaigns, which thrive on manipulating the vulnerabilities due to either side, allowing power-hungry politicians to influence the public mood, during such exploitable moments.

It is critical to differentiate legitimate concerns about political stability from the tendency to blame democratic system and the agendas of external players. All this is interwoven in our socio-political fabric. Democracy is fundamentally intended to empower the people through social engagement. However, its effectiveness is undermined when political parties resort to inciting instability, whether in opposition or inside the ruling party.

A common fallacy in Pakistan is that election results are primarily decided by the establishment’s backing.

This narrative is often used by the political parties, particularly in the pre and post-election context. Interestingly, their mottos alternate between accusing the establishment of involvement and defending their triumphs when in power. This blame game is a recurring pattern, that pushes genuine performance assessments of Governments out of the spotlight.

Read More: Pakistan Elections 2024: Beyond A Level Playing Field

The issues confronting Pakistan’s democracy are not a product of failings of the democratic system. Instead, they stem from a political culture marked by a proclivity for blame games and a lack of accountability. Politicians often distract attention away from policy failures, continuing an endless cycle of accusations and counter-accusations.

Adding insult to the injury is the use of harsh language and slurs in political speeches that worsens the situation, eroding national unity and integrity. The media, as a strong instrument of national power is then frequently used to promote individualistic motives. Pre and post-election sensationalism, biased reporting, and the spread of provocative information, all contribute towards the decline of the politically correct debate. This pattern of political engineering is often evident in Pakistan’s political culture, frequently resulting from a sense of fear and a desire for political survival.

Political chaos is especially prevalent during the election cycles, when parties compete for acquiring the popular support.

It is also an assumption in narrations of political parties that the party which the establishment supports will take hold, regardless of its validity and serves as a smokescreen, protecting political leaders from accountability and impeding the development of a transparent and functional democratic system. This also feeds a cycle of public distrust, undermining faith in democratic institutions.

Acknowledging the harm Pakistan’s political landscape has endured due to their malpractices, political leaders must prioritize representation above blame games. Constructive communication and a dedication to tackling internal concerns may help build a more strong and stable democratic system. Furthermore, media being the flag barrier of information trendsetting, can help build a culture of accountability and openness.

As political elite continue its usual coercive course, the collective psyche of Pakistani nation suffers as a direct consequence.

Post-elections, Pakistani voters are confused about the validity of the elections, which has also affected the morale of young voters. Pakistan has to make a concentrated effort, if it is to develop a sound political environment and a fully developed democratic system that really fulfills the needs of its people. To create a healthy political atmosphere, politicians must emphasize responsibility, and the media must take an active part in influencing political debate. Breaking out from the blame game cycle is critical to developing a mature and functional democratic system in Pakistan.

The views shared in this article reflect the author’s personal views and do not necessarily align with the institution’s official stance.

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Sara Nazir is an Islamabad-based researcher with a background in Strategic Studies & area of interest is non-traditional warfare. She can be reached on & @SaraNazir13 (on X).

Sara Nazir

Sara Nazir is an Islamabad-based researcher with a background in Strategic Studies & area of interest is non-traditional warfare. She can be reached on & @SaraNazir13 (on X).