Thursday May 23, 2024

Capital suggestion: Politics and violence

By Dr Farrukh Saleem
May 14, 2023

Imran Khan's dangerous political ambitions have caused him to disregard the boundaries of violence in politics, posing a serious threat to the safety and stability of society. Imran Khan’s ruthless political aspirations have caused him to lose sight of the role of violence in politics.

Imran Khan has objectives that are purely political. He has every right to have them. Imran Khan wants to be the prime minister again but he has completely failed to differentiate between politics and violence. Imran Khan’s approach to politics is detrimental to the stability of Pakistan and will have serious consequences. It is crucial that Imran Khan understands that politics and violence are distinct concepts.

Politics is the process by which people make collective decisions, particularly in relation to governance and the distribution of power and resources within society. Violence, on the other hand, involves the use of force or aggression to harm others or to achieve a particular objective. Politics must be carried out peacefully through debate, negotiation, and compromise while violence involves the use of physical force that often results in injury or death.

Politics is a peaceful process of governance while violence leads to chaos, instability and human suffering. Protests are a legitimate form of political expression but violence, such as looting or arson, is not a legitimate form of political expression. Political protests are nonviolent, peaceful expressions of grievances. Violence leads to significant harm and negative consequences for both individuals and society as a whole.

Political violence always has serious and long-lasting consequences. The PTI’s recent political violence has led to loss of life, injury, and trauma. It has undermined rule of law, human rights and civil liberties. The PTI is creating a culture of fear and distrust. The PTI’s strategy of political violence has disrupted economic activities resulting in a loss of around $2 billion. This will lead to increased government spending on security and law enforcement, diverting resources from other economic needs. Sponsored political violence by the PTI will weaken democratic institutions and empower extremist groups.

If the PTI continues to sponsor political violence, Pakistan’s reputation and relationship with other countries will be severely jeopardized potentially leading to disastrous consequences for the nation. It will lead to decreased foreign aid and investment. It has already attracted international attention and may invite intervention, which will have unintended consequences.

Imran Khan must recognize the devastating impact of political violence on countries like Somalia, Yemen, Lebanon, Sudan, Ethiopia, and Haiti. It is important for leaders to learn from the experiences of these nations and take necessary measures to prevent political violence from inflicting similar damage in their own countries.

Imran Khan must understand that violence has no place in politics. Imran Khan must refrain from using violence as a means to an end. Imran Khan must distinguish between political activities and violent actions. Imran Khan must understand that violence only creates more problems and harms people that Imran Khan claims to serve. It is imperative that Imran Khan reconsiders his approach to politics.

The writer is a columnist based in Islamabad. He tweets @saleemfarrukh and can be reached at: