Election day prep.

There are no cliches left to describe the current state of affairs in Pakistan. There aren't many adjectives left either. They just seem inadequate or overused, though the crises are palpable. Reading the newspapers in the morning is enough to induce an anxiety attack while the discussions on television leave one bemused for they continue to be focused on leaks, rumours of technocratic set-ups and sources that are certain about which political leader is on his way down and who is about to take off.

In the meantime, the economic crisis grows by the day, the government refuses to address it because it wants to avoid paying the political price in the shape of a defeat in the elections while PTI continues to thunder on, aimlessly. The problem is the crisis is already far bigger than we can cope with and the government (or rather the PML-N) doesn't have much political capital left, even if they can find a magical way of getting a free pass from the IMF for now. The elections will be an uphill battle even if the IMF is charmed into giving waivers on everything and more.

No wonder then the inflation (and the storm to come), the PML-N's inflexibility and PTI's non-stop anger and agitation are all reasons lending credence to the talk of a technocratic government and even worse - a speech which begins with a phrase more familiar to us than 'ghabrana nahi hai'. And this phrase is: 'Meray aziz hamwatno'.

The hours we have dedicated to these options are surely even more than those spent discussing cricket in Pakistan.

All our Neros are busy with activities which usually only begin in earnest when an election is due.

But is there really such a plan? Because if there is, why are all our Neros busy with activities which usually only begin in earnest when an election is due? And this is as true of television channels as it is of politicians. (Consider the pace at which anchors are moving back and forth between news organisations and hiring is picking up; this is usually an activity which coincides with election cycles.)

But look beyond, and politics is where the real action is taking place. Even if it's just the PTI which is desperate for an election, the rest are not coming slow either. Everyone is gearing up for D-day. In Karachi, efforts are being made to patch up MQM like Humpty Dumpty and one newly inducted governor is filling in for all the King's men. Farooq Sattar, the grumpy elder relative, is being brought back to the fold as well as the prodigal...

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