Forget the ideology of Naya Pakistan. Forget the culture of anti-corruption. Forget the 17 years old struggle of bringing the PTI into power. Forget the friendship that Asad Umar and Imran Khan had or have. Nothing trumps politics over economics. And, when economic indicators are emblazoned - for instance, the inflation rate is at 9.4pc - the role of economics in all spheres of life becomes more relevant.

As it stands now, we have almost the same cabinet as we had during the time of General Pervez Musharraf’s “presidency”. And more importantly, our Ministries are being headed by unelected “advisors”. This has political fallout, which leads to disillusionment with our parliamentary system of democracy and makes our markets more prone to uncertainty.

First, economic recessions have the potential for regime change when taken to their logical extreme forms. If history is to be learnt from, recessions were the primary cause of why the German, Austria-Hungary and Russian empires were disintegrated in the aftermath of the First World War. But with the fever of war hysteria with India cooled down, we probably would not have these violent and bloody outcomes.

Rather we have something more sinister, a longing for the stability of the “presidential system”. Which, excuse us, is nothing but a euphemism for the shackles of dictatorship. It is not false that Pakistan’s GDP growth rate, exchange rate and inflation rate were all at their best during the period of military dictatorships.

However, a more contextualized view of these military dictatorships needs to be taken into account. Pakistan’s military dictatorships coincided with times when the imperial overreach of the United States was at its peak. Even in General Musharraf’s time, the United States lead by George Bush injected poisonous military and civilian aid through the coercive doctrine of “you are either with us or against us.”

Sure, we had enough injections to keep the economy afloat - maybe in a good shape. Looking back at it now, was it worth giving a Dictator cum President the right to sign away us for a pointless war - which still has no end in sight?

This brings us to the second point, which is the political fragmentation that this recession has brought us. Economic stability has a positive correlation with regime survival and favorability. Think of it like this, why did the martial law regimes survive and Musharraf’s performance still reminisced?

Let us look at a theoretical explanation from the more economically developed countries. Capitalism has the means to blind the masses with consumerism, as it takes the need for political agency to be eradicated. Much has been said of Pakistan rising up as an Asian Tiger, modelled along the lines of East Asian Tigers such as South Korea and Singapore. What this represents is an authoritarian brand of political rule supplemented by strong economic performance vis a vis investment measures. The conduits of authoritarianism are the classics - crush dissenting parties, keep a stronghold on the press and have no checks on executive power.

Such steps should theoretically raise a lot of discontent in the public, but they do not. There is a tradeoff between rebelling against the state and enjoying the economic benefits purported by it. And in the case of the citizenry, the latter always wins. Why care about democratic participation if you can get the latest phones, laptops or clothes?

Same is the case with Pakistan, albeit in a lower scale of course. What the citizenry cares for is to not martyr themselves in an attempt to gain traction for an abstract catchphrase - namely Naya Pakistan. What the citizenry rather cares for is the price of basic necessities - food, clothing and shelter. President or Prime Minister, Dictatorship or Democracy - these are irrelevant variables for those of us looking to fulfil their basic needs.

And it is for them, the government - whose leadership may or may not be complicit in a disincentive for parliamentary democracy - must respond. And, they must respond by creating incentives for democratic participation in Pakistan. And for that, economic stability - whether artificial through borrowing or organic through internal growth needs to be provided. This is to ensure that our nascent democratic system remains intact.