FPJ Editorial: Contrasting Polls In Neighbourhood

FPJ Editorial: Contrasting Polls In Neighbourhood

As US is nearing the election day, India's neighbouring countries Pakistan, Bangladesh are also headed for fresh elections.

FPJ EditorialUpdated: Thursday, December 21, 2023, 12:32 AM IST
article-image

Each democracy is flawed in its own way. For evidence, you don’t have to look at the US alone. Nearer home both Bangladesh and Pakistan are headed for fresh elections. And in some vital ways both are set to be farcical. In Pakistan the Rawalpindi GHQ has decided to keep Imran Khan, the most popular Opposition leader, behind bars. It is unlikely that he would be allowed to contest or even campaign in next February’s poll. His party, Tehreek-e-Insaf, hit by a huge, army-induced exodus, may still contest, but will find itself defeated by the stratagems of the ISI. As it is, Pakistanis are groaning under huge inflationary pressure with a dire paucity of foreign exchange, forcing even its national airline to cancel scheduled flights at the last moment for want of aviation fuel. The economic mess is further worsened by a broken polity. Never before were ordinary Pakistanis so ill-served by their leaders, nay their generals, as now.

On the other hand, in Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is sitting pretty to win her fourth consecutive term in next month’s election. With the main challenger, Bangladesh Nationalist Party of former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, virtually boycotting the poll due to mass arrests of leaders and general repression against its cadres, the election will lack moral sanctity. Zia herself has been locked up in prison since 2018. However in sharp contrast to Pakistan’s tanking economy, Bangladesh’s has been growing at a decent 6-percent-plus rate annually. Ordinary people have little to complain about on the economic front. Whether or not the blatant suppression of the main Opposition earns international opprobrium for Hasina, she can always thumb her nose at global opinion, especially when China, a rising power, can lend support in return for favourable investment deals. China is transactional in all its dealings with foreign nations; human rights and democratic values mean little to it.

RECENT STORIES

Political Discourse Hits New Low As PM Modi Resorts To 'Muslim Bashing'

Political Discourse Hits New Low As PM Modi Resorts To 'Muslim Bashing'

Analysis: One-Man Show Is Not Healthy For Our Democracy

Analysis: One-Man Show Is Not Healthy For Our Democracy

Analysis: We Need Consensus On Growth And Job Creation

Analysis: We Need Consensus On Growth And Job Creation

Editorial: Keep Faith In Voting Machines

Editorial: Keep Faith In Voting Machines

Uttar Pradesh Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Voter Turnout Decline in Western Uttar Pradesh Raises...

Uttar Pradesh Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Voter Turnout Decline in Western Uttar Pradesh Raises...