Political Change in Pakistan: What Should We Expect from the New Sharif Government?

Umer Karim

Instability is, in a word, the hallmark of Pakistani politics. Imran Khan’s government proved no exception. It collapsed owing to his unorthodox and populist views on foreign policy and his differences with the military leadership. Khan’s departure paved the way for the return to dynastic politics in Pakistan, traditionally dominated by the Sharifs and Bhuttos. The Sharifs and Bhuttos have traditionally been bitter enemies but have now formed a joint political front to counter Imran Khan’s anti-status quo politics. They may have succeeded in bringing down Khan’s government but now have to deal with an economy on the brink of collapse and a politically resurgent Imran Khan who is demanding fresh elections. As the new government is a hodgepodge coalition of diverse political entities, its political shelf life is likely to remain short. Ultimately, a new general election remains the only way out of the current political chaos.