With 2012 barely having hung its hypothetical boots, and the world having just barely escaped a potentially disastrous end on 21.12.2012, Pakistan is now faced with perhaps one of its most crucial years, in 2013, at the turn of this new decade. Not only is the year shaping up to be the first election year not guided under the auspices of the military since the retired general’s rule, it is also shaping up to be one of those rare election years where challengers to the political status quo seem to popping up left, right, and centre. And all these remarks notwithstanding, 2013 will also be the penultimate year of the Afghan occupation.
So, how exactly is 2013 going to shape up? And will Pakistan really see its first free and fair elections in decades? According to star gazers, and no we’re not talking about astronomers, 2013 is still up in the air, and the jury is still out on what the year is going to be like. Unsurprisingly, there are some interesting predictions for what the year, and the ones following it, will hold. Though just how many of these predictions will stand the test of time will be something that Pakistanis will just have to wait and watch.
Regardless… As ever, the elections remain a popular subject in Pakistan’s socio-political circles – and even more so with 2013 now on the horizon. As such, it is also one of the more popular questions fielded by astrologers and numerologists, and, predictably, many divergent outcomes are being prophesised.
Whilst one astrologist cum numerologist, Raja Aziz Ur Rahman, predicts free and fair elections come March, not all his contemporaries agree. Faisal Amin, also an astrologer, goes out of his way to impress otherwise, “These elections will see massive rigging, and there’s a high probability that they will be challenged in the courts of law. If that happens, we’re bound to see by-elections, or even re-elections, taking place.” Others in Faisal’s circles seem to voice similar views as well, with Azhar Saleem, a Lahore based astrologer, also in doubt about the fairness of the upcoming elections, “I don’t see the elections being held in true spirit.” This notwithstanding, Faisal does predict direct divine intervention too.
Despite this, all are in agreement that the next government will be a coalition setup, with Raja Aziz predicting it to be a PML-N lead coalition.
However, this dissention in views seems to fall a notch when the subject shifts from the upcoming elections to a holistic discourse of national politics, as all three astrologers voice similar views on what the future holds for the country’s political set up. Faisal Amin, for instance, discusses the country’s incumbent President saying, “Zardari will have no place in the political set up that is going to shape up in 2013.” Azhar Saleem and Raja Aziz both put this in milder terms when they say that ‘Zordari’ will complete his tenure and then leave. They all also highlight the judiciary’s significance in ensuring smooth operation.
Similarly, all three astrologers agree on MQM losing its eminence in national politics in a post-elections Pakistan. While Faisal makes a statement, stating that “MQM will badly lose face to the PPP in Sindh and Karachi”, Raja Aziz goes even farther and predicts the number of seats that will be knocked off MQM’s tally: 5-6 seats.
These gentlemen are also in consensus with regards to Imran Khan and his PTI. They all seem to agree that the PTI is setting itself up for failure. Though Azhar does say that Imran Khan will gain increased relevance in national politics, “His stars are not yet favourable enough to let him come in power”. In similar vein, Faisal carries this prediction forward, saying, “Imran Khan will see a consolation victory in Punjab, where the PML-N and the PPP will have to band together to defeat him. And in all likeliness, He is also going to be the one to challenge the election results in court!” Interestingly, Raja Aziz again gives a figure to gauge Imran’s victory: “Only 10 seats…”
This unanimity, unfortunately, does not translate over into predictions about other important facets of Pakistan’s future – with economics being an important example. For instance, all three astrologers arrive to different predictions about the June budget after their calculations.
Whereas Raja Aziz predicts that the upcoming budget will improve things and provide the populace with some relief, with inflation being brought somewhat under control, the other two astrologers on the panel disagree vehemently. Faisal is of the opinion that not only will the people of Pakistan find themselves faced with a hostile budget, but that “a major stock exchange scandal will also be discovered come this March.” Azhar too, similarly, is also bearish, “Until June, things are only going to get worse economically, and Pakistan’s future, economic or otherwise, might even be at stake!” He does, however, also talk about a positive Jupiter to Jupiter aspect after June for Pakistan, after which things are meant to improve.
Najaf Shah, also an astrologer/numerologist based in Rawalpindi, unfortunately makes an even more dire prediction in his only contribution, “Expect the US Dollar to get close to 120 Rupees in the next year, that’s how bad things will get.”
A milder divergence of opinions also exists in the discourse about Pakistan’s foreign relations. Azhar Saleem predicts Pakistan’s relations continuing in the same vein with all our neighbours except Afghanistan, with whom things are expected to worsen somewhat for the next five years – the United States’ story too will be similar to Afghanistan’s. Raja Aziz, on the other hand, whilst foreseeing similar relations with Afghanistan, does predict improved relations with China, the US of A and India. And none of them see the Pak-Iran Gas Pipeline coming to fruition either, courtesy of American pressure.
It is Faisal, however, who puts forward the most controversial, and disturbing predictions. “While the US will treat us even worse, that isn’t unexpected. More notably, though, our relations with India will deteriorate significantly with Indian military adventurism and strong arming imminent in the coming year. And we will put them back in their places.” Faisal further continues, “India will only do this with US backing, however they will still not be able to resolve Kashmir.” And in his most emphatic prediction so far, Faisal concludes that, “Kashmir might just emerge as an independent state as a result of this conflict.” Faisal also notes, on China, that, “China will be too busy with its own internal conflicts to matter much to us in our hour of need.”
Interestingly, all gentlemen had some positives to take away from the upcoming year. Whilst both Azhar and Faisal were bearish about the country’s direction until June to October next year, all three astrologers predicted Gas and Electricity issues being resolved in the next 3-5 years, starting with 2013. A similar sentiment was also expressed about terrorism, though no immediate relief can be had in 2013.
In a hopeful prediction, Faisal Amin forecasts, “Things will get worse before they get better. And 2013 will give Pakistan what it needs most, a true leadership, from outside the political parties.” He did, however, also warn that censorship will become an important factor, “Censorship is governed by Uranus, and right now its position isn’t doing us any favours.”
Azhar, however, was still critical of our fortunes, “Pakistan’s date of birth corresponds to that of the fractured sun. We just aren’t destined for true leadership.”
Whether we are, or are not, and what the upcoming year holds for us, however, still remains to be seen. After all, 360 something days are a long time for unexpected things to happen.
– As Published On
(Dated 6th January, 2013)