The political scene: The PML-N, Pakistan’s largest political party by votes taken in 2013, has lost its ‘N’. The accountability court is getting closer to announcing its decision and rats have begun deserting the PML-N’s ship that they think is sinking.

The PTI, the second largest political party by votes taken in 2013, is being led by Imran Khan, who seems to be a ‘faith traveller’. The PTI’s leader believes that destiny will make him the prime minister. The PTI has neither a political strategy, nor a narrative. The PPP, Pakistan’s third-largest political party by votes taken in 2013, is being led by Asif Ali Zardari who is a schemer-dreamer. Under Asif Ali Zardari, the PPP’s vote-bank has dropped from 60 percent of the votes polled in 1977 to 15 percent in 2013.

The economic scene: Never in our 70-year chequered economic history have we had a $35 billion trade deficit. Never in our 70-year chequered economic history have we had a $15 billion current account deficit. Never in our 70-year chequered economic history have we had a Rs2.2 trillion budgetary deficit. Never in our 70-year chequered economic history has our national debt hit Rs25 trillion. Never in our 70-year chequered economic history has our national debt hit Rs25 trillion. Never in our 70-year chequered economic history has the circular debt hit Rs922 billion. Our foreign exchange reserves are going down like ninepins and imports are going through the roof.

Yes, there are at least five captains on the bridge of the ministry of finance. Yes, they have all been warned. Yes, they can clearly read the writing on the wall. And yet the captains of Pakistan’s economy are bent upon hitting the wall at full throttle. Imagine, the solution that the captains of our economy have come up with is an amnesty scheme which, if history is any guide, is bound to fail (even if the scheme succeeds it is not a solution to our problems).

The international scene: The world around is changing fast. The US military has now ‘put countering China and Russia at the centre of a new national defence strategy……the latest sign of shifting priorities after more than a decade and a half of focusing on the fight against Islamist militants’. The US is at war with China – a trade war. The US is at war with Russia – a new cold war. Russia is challenging the US in Europe and the Middle East. China is challenging the US in South and East Asia.

The US has announced a new ‘National Defence Strategy’ under which ‘great power competition, not terrorism, is the primary focus’. Russia has annexed Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula. Russia has militarily intervened in Syria. China ‘has embarked on a far-reaching military modernization’. China has launched One-Belt-One-Road initiative, an ‘ambitious dream to dominate the world’.

A global economic crisis is in the making. Pakistan is the least prepared. Yes, the elephants are in a state of war. Lo and behold, Pakistan has no foreign policy. Remember, ‘when elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers the most’. The US, Russia and China are in a state of war. Our leadership is weak, and the weak get hurt in conflicts between the powerful.

The writer is a columnist based in Islamabad.

Email: farrukh15@hotmail.com Twitter: @saleemfarrukh