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Most Pakistanis prefer democracy over theocracy and military rule–Study

Pakistan: Across the Wagah border (Photo credit-IN)

The Pakistani political class has much pondering to do. Most Pakistani citizens are unhappy with the current state of affairs and the current political system though they strongly favour a democratic framework.

An ongoing survey of the Islamabad based Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE), a public policy think tank, the majority of the people have favoured a democratic system over a religious government without elections or even a military or a technocrat rule.

Not just that they have stressed the need to have a “none of the above” (NOTA) option in the voting process. According to the survey, more than 30 per cent people in Balochistan have said they are not happy with the current political dispensation and that they would cast their vote supporting ‘NOTA.’

Preliminary findings of the study, being conducted across the country, also reveal that more than 40 per cent of the Pakistanis were willing to leave the country and the number is highest among the youth. In 2021, Pakistan's Bureau of Emigration Overseas Employment (BEOE) data showed that as many as 2,86,648 workers registered for overseas employment — a 27.6 per cent rise over the previous year.

Pakistan, which is gearing up to celebrate its 75th Independence Day, is currently going through a critical phase with the rise in political and economic uncertainty. Amid the several challenges, including surging inflation, Islamabad is currently negotiating a bailout package with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Lack of governance, corruption, incompetence and nepotism have led to the rising challenges have added to the problem, an analyst dealing with South Asia told India Narrative.

The delay in the IMF loan disbursal has even prompted Pakistan’s military chief, General Qamar Javed Bajwa to intervene. Bajwa, last month, even spoke to Deputy U.S. Secretary of State Wendy Sherman on the issue.

“It is common knowledge that the Pakistani people have little faith in their political system and the focus on the economy has never been a priority. The findings of the survey therefore don’t surprise me,” the analyst said, adding that the need of the hour is to reboot the structure and implement structural reforms with a view to bring in dividends for the masses.  

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