Pakistan is going to the polls in the least credible election yet with Imran Khan, the most popular politician jailed on multiple charges and his party suppressed, in what insiders say is a sign that the military are taking control. Mobile calls and the internet have been suspended.
Khan as prime minister until 2022 favoured the military until he fell out with them for which sin this is assumed to be the backlash. The 500,000-strong army has historically been Pakistan’s power broker not only in defence but also in politics, economic policy and even business. But the indications are that the attempt to crush Khan has aroused resentment among swathes of the population especially the young. He may need to be released from jail to calm unrest though presumably after the election has been held.
Pakistan’s economy is in crisis, with inflation at 30 per cent in December, and the country narrowly averted default in June thanks to a $3bn IMF bailout. They will need to return to the fund for immediate support to avoid another near-repeat of ‘a bankruptcy that could become one of the biggest burdens on the global debt restructuring architecture since the Covid-19 pandemic. At about $100bn, Pakistan has more foreign debt than Zambia, Sri Lanka and Ghana combined, according to IMF data.’ In addition, the country must tackle a resurgence of extremist violence, with an increase in Islamic militancy spilling over from Taliban-ruled Afghanistan.
Pakistan, 14 August 1947 9.30am Karachi, does look rudderless and confused over the next three years with tr Neptune square Uranus, then the Midheaven, then Mars through till 2026, joined half way through by tr Saturn square Uranus, MC, Mars in 2025/26 – so the country will be blown around by indecision and chaotic, undermining events. Tr Uranus will square the Pak Leo Sun for the final time late March/early April which may be connected to the next IMF negotiations.
The Solar Arc North Node is conjunct the Pak Saturn Pluto now which suggests a history changing moment, maybe not in a spectacular way, but it may come to be seen historically as a significant marker.
Nawaz Sharif, 25 December 1949, back from a self-imposed exile after the Panama Papers expose, is expected to do well in the election. If he does take over he’s in for a fairly calamitous three years ahead with tr Neptune opposing his Mars and squaring his Capricorn Sun and Uranus.
Imran Khan, 5 October 1952, has been through a disappointing slump in recent months with tr Neptune square his Mars but that finishes just after the election and with tr Uranus square his Pluto late April to mid May his fortunes may change – or at the very least his circumstances will change significantly. He did inspire the country though he became increasingly authoritarian and did little to halt the economic slide.[The outraged Trumpistatists are bracketing the the attempt to ban Trump from the election because of his multiple malfeasances with Khan’s imprisonment. The dark state against the people’s choice. Sigh.]