Pakistan is gearing up to elect new federal and provincial parliaments in the country. The general elections are scheduled to be held on July 25. As they get closer, political activity and campaigns are getting more attention. However, an air of ambiguity regarding the neutrality of the event is easily discernible, as well as pessimism about the elections’ final outcome. Most people are fairly certain that after the culmination of these elections, none of the contesting parties will succeed in getting a two-third majority. As a result, we will have a hung parliament and the parties will be forced to form a coalition government. Who is pulling the strings behind the scenes is a non-issue. This is a matter that has been and continues to be overtly highlighted on all forums by various political factions and the media. What is a matter of grave concern is how badly this game will impact the country. There is no doubt that a hung parliament would be catastrophic. Predictably, a concoction of political parties is bound to emerge from the upcoming general elections. Having incompatible philosophies on various national issues, our elected representatives will inevitably fail to achieve consensus on matters of vital national interest. Having incompatible philosophies on various national issues, our elected representatives will inevitably fail to achieve consensus on matters of vital national interest With none of the political factions being able to obtain a simple or two third majority, and smaller political groups and independents making space for themselves in the assemblies of the country, there is bound to be anarchy. It could be foretold with certainty that initially the formation of governments at both the federal and provincial level will be an uphill task, and ultimately when the governments are formed governance of the country would become an extremely difficult phenomenon. The kingmakers, or as the Pakistan Muslim League — Nawaz (PML-N) leadership calls them, ‘Aliens’ seem to be oblivious to the fact that their endeavour to bring a fragmented group of politicians at the helm to govern this country may cause irreparable damage to the security and integrity of Pakistan. It would also cause inconceivable damage to the already crumbling national economy. Pakistan has already been grey listed by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). This arbitrary measure, regardless of its biased intent, is bound to have serious ramifications on Pakistan’s relations with the international donor agencies and its economy. Good or bad, Pakistan’s image already stands badly tarnished in the comity of respected world nations; let’s abstain from doing things that would make things even worse. Since its creation, Pakistan has hardly seen any good times. Our history has been one of anarchy and political wrangling. It seems as if external forces and the powers that be have always been, and continue to be, hell bent on weakening this country in every possible manner Politics in this country have undoubtedly become extremely messy. Things definitely need to be given a complete turnaround on the political front. Our politicians need to bring about a complete change in their highly questionable behaviour. There is a glaring difference between what they preach and what they do. They must do their duty as representatives of their people. In order to be able to attain this vital objective, they will have to be made accountable for all their deeds. This would be possible only if there is a strong and unbiased accountability process in place in the country. Those who have plundered, looted, stashed national wealth and built empires within the country and abroad must be held accountable — whether they are politicians or serve in other state institutions. They should not only be given exemplary punishment for their misconduct, but must also be compelled to bring the stolen money back to this country. This accountability must not be applied selectively in any circumstance. Since its creation, Pakistan has hardly seen any good times. Our history has been one of anarchy and political wangling. It seems as if external forces and the powers that be have always been and continue to be hell bent on weakening this country in every possible manner. Unremitting internal chaos and infighting has, in fact, made it easier for Pakistan’s detractors to muzzle this country to attain their nefarious designs. This is all the more reason why we should make resolute efforts to establish unqualified unity among all our ranks, completely eradicate the menace of prejudice from our society, and work in unison, with unfathomable dedication, to make this country stand out conspicuously among the affluent and venerable nations of the world. The writer is a freelance columnist based in Islamabad Published in Daily Times, July 13th 2018.