Overview of Article
Pakistan is facing perpetual problems in terms of lack of political consensus, political tussle between political parties and economic instability which are more challenging in the new government. These are consistent problems of Pakistan which need to be addressed immediately to make Pakistan to go in right direction, recent news update reported. Along with old fault lines which the country is facing, new fault lines are also present. One of the new fault lines in political polarization. This has caused separation of political parties, families and society as well. Moreover, this type of intense polarization has never seen before in the history of Pakistan. This characteristic political polarization is created by PTI, which declaring new government as unpatriotic and seeking help from foreign forces.
When it comes to its base of angry urban youth who are willing to disregard facts, its narrative of being ousted from office as a result of a foreign conspiracy finds ready believers. This narrative also contributes to the delegitimization of opponents in the eyes of its adherents. The xenophobic nationalism promoted by the country’s leaders is causing further division within the country’s population.
Ferocious Political Warfare due to Political Polarization
Because of polarisation and the narrative that defines its contours, politics has taken on the appearance of ferocious political warfare, in which opponents must be eliminated from the political scene in a terminal conflict rather than competed with or accommodated in any way. This no-holds-barred approach has eliminated any possibility of a meeting point or a middle ground, and it has effectively eliminated any possibility of bridging the divide. Extreme partisanship is making it nearly impossible to operate within the political system.
When Democracy becomes Dysfunctional
It is true that democracies in other parts of the world are also struggling to survive in the face of intolerant populist forces that are polarising their societies. However, this only serves to demonstrate how democratic systems are under threat as a result of demagogues’ lack of commitment to democratic norms, rising intolerance, and a lack of restraint in political discourse. In fact, when democracy is deprived of the essential ingredients that make it function — tolerance, consensus, and the ability to accommodate the interests and viewpoints of ‘others’ — it becomes dysfunctional. The threat of democratic backsliding that Pakistan is currently facing is real.
As a result of the country’s polarised politics, a toxic quality has been injected into the political conversation, degrading what passes for debate. The language and political narratives used by political leaders are increasingly defying the most fundamental standards of civility.
Downfall of Democratic Norms in Pakistan
Politics in Pakistan has, of course, never been a pleasant experience. There was a lot of political name-calling, character assassination, and accusations of being disloyal to the country in the 1990s, and top leaders were frequently referred to as “security risks.” However, the political culture today has sunk to even greater depths of incivility than it was previously.
The Weaponization of Politics
A great deal of provocative rhetoric and statements that routinely fail the truth test are thrown around with little regard for the ramifications of their actions. Because of the no-holds-barred vilification of opponents, insults have risen to become a primary political weapon. The weaponization of politics has resulted in a political culture that is characterised by incendiary allegations and norm-breaking conduct. There is now a real possibility that the political fabric will be perverted on a more long-term basis.
The weaponization of politics has spawned a culture of norm-breaking behaviour among political actors.
Amplification of Fault Lines by Social Media
This political fault line has undoubtedly been reinforced and amplified by social media, which has exacerbated the polarisation in the country. Once again, this is part of a broader global trend that is worth noting. Demagogues and their followers in other parts of the world have aggressively exploited digital platforms for political gain, disseminating false information and manipulating public opinion. In this case, social media has emerged as a new battleground or war zone in a political battle that is primarily focused on defaming opponents and disseminating sensational’ revelations’ about them.
In recent weeks, supporters of the former ruling party have launched malicious campaigns against not only the leaders of the coalition government, but also against the country’s military and judicial authorities. Almost anyone who does not support this party has been accused of nothing less than treachery, and some have gone as far as calling them traitors. Continue reading “Army strongly objects to attempts to drag its leadership into political debate” in its original language. ISPR
Anonymity on digital platforms allows political activists to maintain their defensibility while also relieving their trolls of the fear of retaliation. Because of this, they are encouraged to continue their efforts to create a “alternate reality” by disseminating false information. The ‘foreign conspiracy/imported government’ story, for example, has been trending on Twitter for weeks despite the fact that it is not supported by any evidence.
Apart from influencing gullible minds, social media’s magnifying power breeds paranoia as a result of such messages, and in this post-truth environment, it encourages a hollow form of nationalism to be promoted. Messages spread through digital channels that accuse others of being traitors are not only deeply offensive, but they are also corrosive to the political system because they play on and reinforce polarisation.
Disrespect for Institutions due to Media Amplification of Polarized Politics
This opens the door to yet another new political fault line. It encourages disrespect for institutions, whether they are in the judiciary or in the legislature or the Election Commission, when they do not deliver decisions that are in the interests of a particular political party. It also breeds cynicism and widens the rifts in society. This is currently taking place on a scale that has never been seen before.
PTI leaders have been critical of Supreme Court judges, and they have also called for the resignation of the chief election commissioner, who is currently serving his second term. This has resulted in a blanket rejection of these institutions and a refusal to accept their decisions on the part of the party’s supporters. The most detrimental consequence of this is that it makes it impossible to resolve political disputes through the use of formal institutions.
The Unwillingness to Follow the Rules
The unwillingness to follow the rules has a significant destabilising effect on the political system. It has the potential to cause public disorder and create a chaotic situation that is potentially dangerous to the democratic system itself. Unfortunately, this appears to be the direction in which the current political situation may be heading.
We have seen populist demagogues show contempt for their country’s constitution and institutions, as well as upend democratic norms, in other parts of the world, including our own backyard. At a time when social cohesion is under threat from both old and new fault lines, the question is whether Pakistan’s fragile democracy will be able to withstand such assaults on its foundations.