Election Tamasha : Army is the Key Player in Pakistan Politics

Pakistan will conclude it's national elections today. Let's have a look at the important points.
Election Tamasha : Army is the Key Player in Pakistan Politics

Pakistan, which has become a perpetually troubled country, has witnessed intense violence, shootings and murders during the National Assembly elections. At a time when the political and economic sectors are facing many challenges, the voters there have voted to elect a new government. Elections were held for 336 seated National Assembly to form its 16th Parliament. With Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)  Supreme & former Prime Minister Imran Khan in jail, another former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's PML-N is tipped to emerge as the single largest party in this election. 

Concerns of Military Interference…

The election will decide the formation of the next government of the world's fifth-most populous country and four provinces - Punjab, Sindh, Baluchistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The National Assembly comprises 336 seats, out of which 266 candidates are to be elected through the direct voting process. In this, 60 seats are reserved for women and 10 for non-Muslims.  Meanwhile, elections were postponed in three provincial assembly segments due to the killing of candidates.

Around 12.8 crore voters in Pakistan are hopeful that their lives will be better if a new government is formed and a new prime minister is sworn in.  But the political situation is different. After pressure from political parties, the Election Commission of Pakistan released the election schedule last November. The election was held as scheduled on February 8. However, amid much tension, people exercised their right to vote. 

Imran Khan, from Army’s Blue-Eyed Boy to Black Sheep…

Former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan and senior leaders of his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party have been placed in jail. Some of the senior leaders were put under house arrest.  As a result, the party did not contest the elections on its official symbol.  Imran Khan has been accused of corruption cases. He was already convicted in three cases. In the case of non-Islamic marriage, his wife Bushra Bibi was also convicted. Both were sentenced to seven years imprisonment. Shah Mahmood Qureshi, a close aide of Imran Khan, was also sentenced 10-year jail term in the espionage case. 

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has removed the bat symbol of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party. So, all the PTI leaders contested as independent candidates. The reason for the conflict seems to be Imran Khan's domination over the army officers when he was the Prime Minister. 

Nawaz Sharif Holds the Edge in Polls…

Former Pakistan Prime Minister and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Chief Nawaz Sharif is now a blue-eyed boy for army. Once he was black sheep. Nawaz, who is in jail in corruption cases, suffered a political setback in the last election. This time, the army became his rallying point. Imran Khan's involvement in the corruption cases has benefitted Nawaz Sharif's party.  When army was against to him, Nawaz has fled the country twice in the past due to increasing pressure from the army. This time, he is likely to come to power with the support of the same army.  But, according to media reports, Imran Khan is the most popular leader. 

Elections amid Economic Crisis…

In the National Assembly elections, 12.8 crore people were eligible to vote, but not even half of them voted.  More than 167 registered parties and more than five thousand candidates are in the fray. It is doubtful whether the situation will improve if any party comes to power and who takes over as the Prime Minister. Experts believe that political instability and economic crisis are inevitable no matter who wins. The value of the Pakistani Rupee is declining.   Inflation is rising. The country is already in the debt trap. Prices of commodities have soared.  Tensions at the border areas of Iran and Afghanistan are at an all-time high. Overall, unrest prevailed in the country.  Whoever succeeds in this situation, will not be easy to make the country better.