A challenge facing Khan is that, for many Pakistanis, the optimism that accompanied his initial rise has yielded to wariness, if not outright cynicism. His critics see him as an opportunist who is poised for power now because he has accepted back-door support from the country’s powerful Army.
Why should China care about the outcome of this week’s elections in Pakistan? Historically, China has could afford to be indifferent to the civilian political leadership of its “all weather” friend. The abiding relationship was with the Pakistan Army, and Pakistan’s major political parties all understood the value of maintaining good terms with Beijing.
Amid allegations of rigging by various political parties, the 11th general election in the country produced some surprising results as a number of political heavyweights and seasoned politicians suffered defeat in their strongholds, albeit with a slim margin.
Bottom line: irrespective of who wins or loses, the Pakistan Army will remain the ultimate arbiter on regional policy. And even if Allah-o-Akbar Tehreek does not win a single seat, and especially if it does, Hafiz Saeed will remain the finger in India’s eye.
Pakistan’s upcoming general elections on July 25 may be the most tense and fraught in the country’s brief period of democracy, and there are lingering doubts about whether they will even be held on time. In Pakistan, the political establishment appears to be following the example of Turkey and Egypt, where those in power clamped down on the media and intimidated civil society just before holding a vote.
Imran Khan thought he was there in 2013, but it was not to be. He claimed the elections were stolen. He won’t accept defeat and was willing to go to any extent to force mid-term polls. He failed. He was a man in a hurry, yet the ‘umpire’ would not come to his help. It’s 2018 now and back to the hustings. Has IK’s moment finally arrived?
Historically, Pakistan’s private sector, projecting a neutral image, preferred to watch electoral politics from a safe distance. This is not the case anymore. In these changing times, as the country prepares for general elections next week, the business class, much like other segments of society, is engaged in the process.
Pakistan’s general election is set for July 25, and the battle lines are clear. Three parties are contending for the national leadership—the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), the Pakistan’s People’s Party (PPP), and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)—and all three have big issues to confront: the problem of deep ethnic divisions, the implications of Chinese-backed economic growth, and the influence of the military.
Also Read: The Key Players In Pakistan’s Election