The Pakistani People’s Party (PPP) has bought some time for the energy crisis by paying an amount of RS 10 billion. But it seems that will not decrease the duration of load shedding or even eliminate it forever. Energy is a huge matter for which you need infrastructure, whether it’s thermal, coal or hydal. I don’t see anything in the pipeline by this government that will improve the energy situation in the country. If there’s water in the dams it’ll just be good luck for the government.
In my opinion, this crisis can be resolved by sorting out the circular debt which is estimated to be around Rs. 600 billion. The money is owed to various organizations in the chain. We had a circular debt problem in the 90’s and out government, the PML-Q at that time, had resolved it. Currently the problem is with PEPCO where it is making less money and spending more than it should be. There are a lot of improvements that can be brought about in PEPCO, such as the tariff and administrative measures. It’s doable because the country is capable of overcoming it. The missing ingredients in Pakistan are good governance, improvement of institutions, and the co-ordination between those institutions, paying the IPPs on time, etc.
The PML-LM is in alliance with PML-N that will take it through the elections to secure the unity of the Muslim League vote bank. It is going to pursue that. I also believe that the government should complete its five year term. The current situation of the country and the economy, energy, unemployment, security and regional situation calls for a new mandate of the people. That can only happen if the early elections would take place with the decision of both PML-N and PPP. Therefore, I don’t really see a battle ground between PPP and PMLN.
The best the opposition can do is topple the Prime Minister, bring in their own electorate and call for a new election. The people have lost their tolerance for the government. If there is another crisis similar to the ones being faced right now, the opposition will take advantage of it. The opposition will have to tread a very fine line. If the current riots turn into chaos, everyone knows what will happen and none of the political parties will be beneficial of that.