Election 2018: Election or Selection?
Pakistan is a country that is struggling for democracy from its birth till date. There is always a tussle for civil supremacy between military establishment and political forces. Pakistan was also governed directly by military dictators four times in the past but first time in country’s political history, democracy has achieved a milestone as two elected governments had completed their legal tenure from 2008 to 2018 after the ten years of military dictatorship. Now Pakistan has elected their new representatives in the national and provincial assemblies by the largest general election of 2018.
The 11th general election was held on the 25th July in all over the country under tight security. Nearly 106 million registered voters stepped out to cast their ballot, including women in areas where they previously stood disenfranchised. Although counting is underway but unofficially Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) won in elections by securing more than 100 seats of national assembly out of 342. Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) secured second position while Pakistan People Party Parliamentarian (PPPP) appeared third.
Election result shows that PTI will make government in a federation and it is expected that chairman PTI Imran Khan will become the new prime minister. Before the election, all rival parties of PTI blamed judiciary and military for pre-poll rigging in favor of Khan. Before the election, lawfare was used by judiciary to level the ground for Khan’s victory while their words suggest that intelligence agency openly did a political engineering to install Khan as a prime minister.
Election result was under way while more than 8 political parties declared these elections as rigged. There was also report about the ineffectiveness of Result Transition System (RTS) of election commission of Pakistan. It is also announced that conference of all political parties will be called soon on this historically disputed elections. Most of the political parties refused to accept the outcome of this election. President of PML (N) Shehbaz Sharif in his press conference vigorously said: “It's such a blatant rigging that everyone has started crying. Today what they have done has pushed Pakistan back 30 years... We reject this result," Sharif, who leads the incumbent Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), told a press conference in Lahore”.
Chairman of Pakistan People Party Parliamentarian (PPPP) which was the second largest party in last elections raised his concern about fairness of electoral process. He took a clear stand on inference of military establishment in election. He said this many times during addressing public gatherings that there is an attempt to install puppet government. After result of these election central leadership of PPP arranged a press conference in Bilwal house Karachi: General elections of 2018 are highly controversial in the history of Pakistan. Pakistani’s political situation is similar to the Latin America where Neo liberal economic system is using lawfare by judiciary as a weapon to destroy politics and opposition parties intended to install puppet regime.
Before the general election, many political opponents were disqualified by the judiciary in Pakistan. Many cases were registered against political adversaries to secure the victory for PTI. The rejection of election result by mainstream political parties raised serious doubts on the legitimacy of general election in the country. Pakistan is a highly polarized state and disputed general election will cast a shadow on its stability. History is witness that manipulated power transfer always brings chaos and instability, political parties already warned that the attempt of manipulation in the transfer of power will push Pakistan towards havoc. Pakistan is already facing terrorism and separatist movements, in this scenario the general election results can accelerate hostilities. It is time that all stake holders of Pakistani state should look seriously into eliminating confusions pertaining to general election.