Saturday, 11 May 2013

Pakistan Election: Will a difference be made?

Today (Saturday) Pakistan went on poll to elect the next National and Provincial Assemblies, those who will rule them over the next five years. Contrary to the initial fears, polling went reasonably well, except in a few constituencies or polling stations. One could see posts on Facebook about irregularities, but mostly pertaining to a few constituencies of Karachi, little update from other provinces.

A point worth mentioning is that turnout was higher as compared to previous elections, may be people have realized that if they wish to bring a change in Pakistan they have to cast their vote. In one of bomb blasts in Quaidabad in Karachi, having Pakhtun concentration about a dozen people died in Karachi.

Polling is over even after extended period in most of the constituencies. Interestingly from Karachi MQM, JI and some other religious parties have lodges complaint of rigging and are demanding reelection. However, the overall consensus is that barring less than a dozen constituencies polling has been held in fair, free and transparent manner.

Observers are of the view that any attempt to mar credibility of the polling held or non-acceptance of the results could create unrest in the country, an objective enemies of Pakistan are trying to achieve. They initially threatened people to stay away from this non-Shariah compliant system but their argument carried no weight as they declared not to stop, religious parties, PML-N, JI and PTI from participating in the polls.

Now people are desperately waiting for the announcement of results. All the television channels are running special election transmissions to provide the updates. Till official results are announced, it is difficult to say which party can attain even simple majority.

Most of the political pundits are hinting towards ‘hung parliament’ in which no party will get majority and the outcome could be another ‘coalition’ government. A point to watch is has the youth made any difference?

This time youngsters became active and many extended support to Imran Khan’s PTI. The contest was close between PML-N and PTI in Punjab. Urban Sindh extended support to MQM and PPP remained docile in urban as well as rural areas.

Surprisingly, Bilawal, Chairman PPP (son of President Zardari and Benazir Bhutto) preferred to remain in door due to life threats. 

ANP came under attack in Sindh as well as Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

In Balochistan, nationalist parties are likely to get reasonable number of seats.

Religious parties formed an alliance but JI and JUI-F fielded their own candidates.

JUI-F candidates despite being supporter of Taliban came under attacks.

Imran Khan got severely injured due to fall from a forklift, trying to raise him to a 20 feet high stage.

Sharif Brothers and their dynasty contested on various seats.

Son of former premier Gillani was kidnapped.

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