‘Pakistan is going through a very critical period”. Really? Yes, of course. But when was it not so? That is the common reaction to the common comment made by uncommon people now and then. Such comments are either dealt with with a yawn or a “next” command. The year has started on a sombre note. A new year means a new beginning. A new year means a new resolution. A new year means a new mindset. A new year means a new way of not only thinking but more importantly doing. 2022 beginning was much more hopeful. Covid was ending. Pakistan was reviving. Costs were rising, but the focus on those most affected by the costs through the Ehsaas program and health card was prominent. This year costs are soaring. The economy is in free fall. But the most concerning element causing hopelessness in the new year is the seeming political and economic paralysis as the political economy perches on a dangerous precipice. The sentiments of the public shape the pulse of society or the economy. The two main surveys that we see most often are the consumer confidence survey and the business confidence survey. The level of confidence predicts sales, investment, and business activity. That is why a growing and robust economy will show a rising confidence level, and vice versa. Gallup’s study on business confidence in October 2022 showed that 88 per cent of businesses said the country is going in the wrong direction. That is why industrial activity has shrunk. Unemployment is 22.5% as more unemployed are reported in November 2022 compared to April 2022. The video of a stadium jam-packed with hundreds of thousands of people was not from the FIFA World Cup but from a local sports stadium where young people were applying for a mere 1,600 jobs. This site is frightening. But the visual tells the story of why a record number of 750,000 people left the country last year. This brain drain, dollar drain, and food drain must stop, or the country will become a sub-Saharan country case study. To stall the old and install a new modus operandi, all stakeholders need to renew their thinking and, more importantly, begin “doing” a CSSI, i.e., follow the 4-step renewal act of C- Continue doing what is good. 2.S- Stop doing what has failed. 3. S- Start doing what the new era of politics is demanding. 4. I- Improve what has worked: The Politics of Status Quo: The political merry-go-round is on. Thirteen political parties have banded together on the merry-go-round to rule until death do them part. The villain of the election is being fought against with great unity of purpose and political ferocity. They are conditioned to do “whatever” to perpetuate their position. They feel that they have the best chance of doing so this time. Previously, the PMLN and PPP were either enemies, or the establishment or institutions were not on their side. This time, it is a complete club of power wielders with one common enemy, i.e., Imran Khan. The problem with this approach is that it is drastically eroding their political and social capital. The economy is inflicting unbearable pain on the common man. Their “rig and win” election formula in the previous years has run out of steam, as people have demonstrated in the July and October elections. More of the same is not working. Their CSSI should be: C – maintain your network among the parties and establishment. Any cracks in them will sink their ship. S- Stop the single-minded focus on Imran Khan in their meetings, press conferences, and policy sessions. S- Start to think of innovative ways of providing relief to the common man. I- Improve their relationship with the IMF and other donor agencies. There is still a legacy of power being able to overpower all. The political history of Pakistan has again proven how the powerful elite combines money, position, and connections to create an enabling environment for themselves and a disabling environment for the powerless. The Power Play of Political Engineering: The word is out that the establishment is also doing more of the same. There is a new chief, but with the old structure and strategy. The continuation of the “established” dry cleaning system for fugitives of the state is a case in point. Absconder declared that the son of the Prime Minister comes back as a hero, giving victory signs as he is “given” relief in his cases. The finance minister gets back his confiscated property. The desperate patch-up of MQM in Karachi is the clearest indication of the old, tried-and-true formula being reused. The BAP party joining PPP is a sign of the PP(Pindi Party) influence. The only problem with this approach is that their objective of restoring the image of their institution will not be served. If they are concerned about the tattered reputation then they should 1. C-Continue to strengthen their impactful fight to curb the rising terrorism in the country. 2. S- Stop all bodies working under them to meddle in any political setups or operations directly or indirectly. 3. S-Start the process of restructuring and right-sizing their organizations, especially the political ones. 4. I- Improve their relationship with the public to restore the dwindling trust level. The Opposition of New with Old- The opposition has done well beyond their expectations. They have reversed the tide of popularity. They have beaten their opponents in elections. They have recaptured the government in Punjab. They have made the media eat their narrative. They have also defied assassination attempts. They have combatted the legal onslaught on their leaders. They have put the establishment on the back foot. This is a tall order. But, remember, this is easier in opposition than in government. All these achievements should lead to humility and a reflection of how the mountain of expectations that they have built can be surmounted in the future. To do that their CSSI is: C-Continue to expose the power brokers and protest against their sham behaviour. 2. S-Stop relying on the same old faces and names whose loyalties are in question in the party. 3. S-Start building the plan for a new-look PTI, government, and economy. 4. I-Improve international relations with major global stakeholders, institutions, and think tanks. There is still a legacy of power being able to overpower all. The political history of Pakistan has again proven how the powerful elite combines money, position, and connections to create an enabling environment for themselves and a disabling environment for the powerless. The script is tested and done. Bring them to power, let them siphon money, stalk their private lives, capture their illegal and immoral moments on paper and videos, and then break them and remould them to their script. This guess paper politics has had a 100% result in the past. But this time the paper came out of the syllabus. The questions that have made the scriptwriters speechless and clueless are becoming more probing and damning with time. This invasive screaming, and chanting of what they had considered “idiots” of the masses are smashing their script and outsmarting each of their legal, social and political moves and posture. More of the same is obsolete. The scriptwriters are scratching their heads, pulling their hair, to come up with a new script that restores their beloved silence of the lambs ready for their mercenary slaughter. The writer is a columnist, consultant, coach, and analyst and can be reached at andleeb.abbas1@gmail,com. She tweets at @AndleebAbbas.