COVID-19 and Emerging Challenges to the State of Pakistan’s Writ

Key Points

  • Groups and entities that are otherwise unable to exert any meaningful influence find the general uncertainty around COVID-19 as a means to legitimise their existence and garner widespread ground-level support.
  • The past three years or so have witnessed the rapid rise to prominence of diverse and polarised interest groups which have the potential to challenge the writ of the state and create implications for the existing law and order systems.
  • The singular point of convergence for all groups including religious extremists is opposition to the established state order.
  • Since the official acknowledgement of COVID-19 pandemic, all three groups – ethno-nationalists, left-wing elements and politico-religious groups – have unanimously voiced their rhetorical discontent for official state measures emplaced to counter the virus.
  • Rather than incentivising on-ground activism by good-hearted men and women, the government should instead encourage sharing of information pertaining to those who need the relief.
Zaki Khalid

Zaki Khalid

is a freelance national security and strategic affairs commentator whose writings have appeared in South Asia Journal, The Nation, Russian International Affairs Council, The Frontier Post and Pakistan Observer, to name a few. He can be reached on Twitter @misterzedpk

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