FREAKONOMICS!

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We are all freaked out!

No one knows what is happening… no one knows what will happen… but we are all freaked out!

Dollar floats and soars as freely as Imran Khan’s sky-high claims of rectifying the economy in the past, buying gold is the gossip of old times, stock market plunges are a routine matter. Basic necessities are now luxuries, taxes are piling up these days more quickly than the fats on one’s bones, education was never free, but wasn’t even as expensive as of today.

Jobs are scant. Health facilities are sparse. Incomes and earnings getting more and more exiguous. The economy is shrinking, debt is accumulating, investors are wary, traders are worried, farmers are distraught, businessmen depressed and youth distressed.

Everyone is caught up in a whirlpool of stress and strain, yet the Khan government assures us on a daily basis: “All is well… all will be well”.

Either it’s the innocence, ignorance or some blind inference that we still sustain some hope in the current regime. Probably, we are left with no other option. Probably we still want to test Khan’s delivery.

Either it’s the incompetence of the government or it’s the incompetence of the collective social judgement. We are in a state of love and hate relationship with Khan — exactly like our cricket team. On a rare, unexpected occasion; it delivers something and we are all cheering up.

Most of the times we are let down, crestfallen; yet we have no other option. Do we?

Opposition, on the other hand, the prime task of which is to safeguard the public interests and to keep an eye on government functioning, is failing to perform too. Though we see a lot of brouhaha and hubbub by the opposition parties in the National Assembly these days as the budget session goes on, it fails to substantially affect the smooth passage and approval of the finance bill.

Reason: united we stand, divided we “sit”.

This division was quite obvious at the opposition’s All Parties Conference (APC) convened two days back in Islamabad when the joint communiqué lacked any solid and affirmative strategy.

The ostensible joint opposition had a clear difference of opinion and strategy between Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Maulana’s Jamiat Ulemae Islam-Fazl (JUI-F); between within Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) of Shehbaz Sharif versus Maryam Nawaz; between smaller parties and PPP plus PML-N.

So far the synthetic joint opposition is granting more benefit than inflicting any harm upon Khan’s government. Under the cloud of thunderous claims by the opposition, it all seems to rain down well upon the government.

Khan smartly managed to politically “epoxy-fy” disgruntled Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) and Balochistan National Party-Mengal (BNP-M), hence securing not just the sanction of Budget 2019-20, but acquiring a few months’ more time to stabilise his administration.

Opposition can rely upon mere verbosity via pressers, media talks, statements and tweets till then. And we are all left at the mercy of tight economic clenching till then.

October is the new November, they say.

No one knows what is happening… no one knows what will happen… but we are all freaked out!

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