A couple of days ago the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif, was disqualified on the grounds of corruption. The decision was given by the supreme court of the country after several months of trial. This is not the first time that a Prime Minister of Pakistan has been disqualified. Pakistan has a history of instability, with Prime Ministers and Presidents resigning, being disqualified, imprisoned and hanged. In Pakistan’s 70 years of existence, not one prime minister has served a full five-year term.
It is no doubt that anyone guilty of a crime should be punished by law, whether common man or a Prime Minister. But the implications of such political instability are critical. While working with the Ministry of Planning, Development and Reform I personally experienced how any incidents hampered the development process. Development projects are overshadowed by the environment of uncertainty and politicians, instead of focusing on the economic development and busy doing the blame-game.
This decision comes at a time when the country’s economy is already suffering. Pakistan hit an unprecedented current account deficit last year. Such news will shock the economy once again. The economic uncertainty created by the political drama of the Nawaz Sharif corruption scandal does not seem to help the Pakistani economy in the long-term either. This pattern of economic downfall followed by political instability is an old one. Once again Pakistan enters the state of uncertainty as the nation is headed toward the general election in 2018. One can only hope that Pakistan will be able to endure this shock.

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