Pakistan finally holding much awaited general election despite all apprehensions of again another postponement for undefined time-frame but still there is no enthusiasm among the voters that is sure to raise questions on the credibility of the process that is going to pave for the formation of elected governments in center and provinces. Majority of people as well as the political observers are not taking this election seriously although the poll is badly needed to put the state on right path.
Popular leader Imran Khan is in jail and disqualified to contest election. Aspirant leader for Prime Minister ship for the fourth term, Nawaz Sharif is said to have cut a deal with establishment for his smooth access to the office but no one can predict the politics and the designs of establishment in Pakistan. Here Yes is No and No is Yes.
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, a young leader, in the line of the candidates of Prime Minister ship has mainly targeted Nawaz Sharif and PMLN while he himself was part of PMLN led PDM government of PM Shehbaz Sharif, younger brother of Nawaz as Foreign Minister. His maternal grandfather ZA Bhutto started his political career as Foreign Minister of General Ayub Khan whose grandson Umar Ayub is stalwart of PTI leader Imran Khan now. Opinion makers say that Foreign Minister ship was only to train Bilawal for Premiership in the future.
PPP has lost Punjab and KPK long ago and it was proved in Election July 2018. PPP could win only 7 seats of Provincial Assembly in Punjab while in KPK province Imran’s PTI ruled for two terms 2013 and 2018 consecutively that is first time in the history of this sensitive province. But as the vote on right wing will be divided in different parties like PMLN, PML-Q, Jamat e Islami and Tehreek e Labbaik Pakistan TLP and break away of PTI Tehreek e Istehkam e Pakistan TIP, the candidates of PPP can win many seats even if they are not enjoying majority vote there.
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PTI, though dispersed and persecuted with different measures and judicial orders , is still in the run with full determination to survive what is said pre- pole rigging. Depriving PTI of its known symbol Bat, allotting their candidates different and ridiculous symbols, declaring them independent, disqualifying the leader Imran Khan, changing the loyalty of mainstream leaders like Jahangir Tareen , Aleem Khan (ATM’s of Khan) Pervez Khattak strong man of PTI in KPK (not with respect to his health but work) and others are seen as Pre-Pole rigging to keep PTI from clean sweep.
Jamat e Islami has been ally to PTI in KPK while TLP gave sit in at Faizabad damaging the then PMLN government a lot in the name of amendment in Namoos e Risaalat act that PMLN denied. Later the connivance of establishment was seen with all eyes when a uniform officer was convincing the protestors to leave giving bus fare to their homes.
These are few simple reasons that give rise to speculations that the results of the election can be different than expected. Here it is interesting to note that election 2024 is said to be , ” So far in all elections , first polling was held and after that the results were declared but this is the first election in which results have been declared first and the polling will be held later.”
The number of seats in National and Provincial assemblies is 1125 while the number of contesting candidates is approximately 18,000. It means a large number is independent and non serious in the election that are most important for the future of the country. Most of independent candidates have no party and they wait for electibles to bargain with them to withdraw in their favor.
Then come the independents who are from Balochistan and KPK. In my previous article on resolution for postponement of election 2024 , I elaborated what role these independents play in Pakistani politics. Link is here. These independents and 60 reserve seats for women 10 for minorities will play central role to answer the million dollar question “Who will be the PM?
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Looking at the monetary condition of the state when banks are not able to open LCs and a huge burden of liabilities up to $50 Billion is due in next months , frankly speaking no one will take the responsibility of taking the driving seat. We have discussed at many places that a time will come when Pakistan will not have any Prime Minister because no one will be available or ready to sit on the seat of thorns.
But as here is no accountability and the accountability we seen is not more than eyewash , anyone can be willing only to enjoy the power and privileges for a while and then leave shifting the blame to establishment and holding the public only for the payments through illegitimately increased prices of daily commodities and taxes of dozens of types. Example is Nawaz two times held accountable, disqualified, sentenced but clear again. Same can happen with Imran in few months and he can be MNA from any seat vacated by his party MNA voluntarily.
Another point under observation of the political circles is , may be Shehbaz instead of Nawaz only because Shehbaz is obedient to establishment Nawaz is not. This is not happening because Shehbaz himself will not be ready to bypass the elder brother. Moreover the vote bank and the team of PMLN is for Nawaz only. Shehbaz has earned nothing but wrath of the public for inflation and strict decisions during his PDM regime. PMLN will never be ready and can not afford to bring Shehbaz again in the center. Shehbaz is good in Punjab only where there are lot of revenues, no accountability, no foreign liabilities and elder brother is patronizing from the center.
Prime Ministers easily hold responsible the establishment or military commanders for the failures. That is why , the question ahead is not who will be the Prime Minister? Question is , How will be the Prime Minister? He will do the needful with ownership of everything good or bad? or we are going to see the same drama again that we have seen again and again in last 4 decades?
The game will start from 80-90 seats with reserved seats of women + independents (formerly BAP type)+ JUI +MQM+ TIP+PMLQ. Either it is done by PPP or PMLN. TLP does not seem to get one seat even they are among 3 main parties with respect to number of candidates. First two are PTI and Jamat e Islami. TLP and JI are to just divide the right wing vote that can damage PMLN only. The left wing vote stands with PPP and PTI. No party is expected to cross 3 digits number of seats that is 100.
Last but not the least , Pakistan is passing through one milestone of election. Let’s see what comes after the results are announced. How PTI workers react to the realities of post election? Who and How the government is formed? It is stable and strong government or fragile , dependent on small parties lacking the confidence that is imperative to lead the country from all the mess into the progress.
This phase is more critical and more crucial in this turmoil of this tumbling state of the state. Pakistan needs political stability and continuity of policies that is possible only when a government comes into existence that can survive for next 5 years without any confrontation with establishment and without any danger looming around from small parties. If we all are serious and sincere with our homeland, we all will do the needful. Either we are politicians , or we are establishment.
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