What will 2018 bring for Pakistan and the world? Newsline asked an intuitive to give the ‘other’ view.
Where are we headed? Are elections going to be held? Do we see a new government in place? Will this be a government of stability and choice?
As predictions go, 2018 will be a year of conflict and change. Whether that change will bode well for Pakistan is another matter.
The call for early elections will materialise. The assemblies will be dissolved, following which we will see a new caretaker government in place, constituting puppets with no political know-how. After the date for elections is announced, a trumped-up political alliance of sorts will come into existence. No party will attain a clear win, but PTI, a strong contender, will be the game changer. The army will remain alert in the wings, ready to take control if the situation arises. Will the PPP come into power? Perhaps, but not in 2018. For the Sharif brothers meanwhile it is the last curtain call — even if not immediately. They will try to eke out some sort of deal, but in the process, the army will rule the day.
The second game changer: China will continue its relentless quest to become a global superpower, with Pakistan its starting point. Strategically placed, it is the doorway for China to achieve its ambitions. And so, the Chinese presence in Pakistan will multiply as it fortifies the foundations for the Chinese stronghold it wants to create here. China will have a virtual government in Pakistan, and the local government will play ball with them. Our army will sustain itself financially through the Chinese alliance. Meantime, investments in Pakistan will continue to grow; the rich will get richer, the poor become poorer.
Fundamentalist extremism will continue as long as it suits the powers-that-be. Divide and rule. Keep the masses distracted. Give the troublemakers what they want as long as our agendas are met. The Islamists will go from strength to strength. It may even come to the point where the establishment says ‘give them some land and let them rule.’
The mass exodus of the religious minorities will continue. But a large swathe of the majority, who can afford it, will also say ‘no more’ and move to new countries to find stability.
Pakistan’s film and music industry will do well. Our movies and music will win many more accolades. Education is another sector that will do extremely well. Technology-savvy youth will take Pakistan into a new era. The property market will boom, the energy sector will thrive and we will see the revival of closed industries, especially textiles. Yes, Pakistan will boom. However, we need to watch out for natural disasters, especially in Karachi between July and September 2018.
Internationally, Trump will, with his shenanigans, continue to entertain the world. He could very well even be re-elected for a second term. But America needs to tread cautiously. The war on terror initiated by it will find its way to the USA. Israel will continue its war with Palestine, but the Palestinian cause will continue to garner international support. The crisis in the Middle East will escalate and economic stability will not be achieved there in 2018.
Europe and Brexit. A marriage. A divorce and now maybe an annulment. Theresa May will end badly in this situation. Europe will do exceedingly well. It will grow and many will look to move there.
However, Canada is the new frontier. Canada will see new Muslim communities migrating there from all over the world. They will thrive and we will see a Muslim government there in the not too distant future.