Pakistan’s national and provincial assemblies are being held under the shadow of bloody attacks and creepy conspiracies. The arrest of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam and the spate of terrorist attacks in Balochistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa have greatly increased the apprehension that some powerful parts of the Pakistani polity are affected by the electoral outcome Are intent
When the National Accountability Bureau sentenced Nawaz Sharif, his daughter and son-in-law on July 6, Maryam made a statement that ‘it is a small punishment to stand firmly in the face of unseen forces’. Maryam’s statement cannot be dismissed as a statement made in displeasure. Last year, Nawaz Sharif was removed from the post by the country’s largest court and now this decision has closed the door to the political career of his successor daughter. It has been said in the decision of the Bureau that till ten years after the completion of the sentence, these people will neither be able to contest elections nor take any post. Shahbaz Sharif, brother of Nawaz Sharif and three-time chief minister of Pakistan’s largest state, has also been banned. Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, who became Prime Minister on behalf of his party after Nawaz Sharif stepped down as prime minister, was also disqualified by a Rawalpindi tribunal to contest the election and his nomination for the National Assembly was canceled. But at present he has got relief from Lahore High Court. Apart from these cases, some more candidates of different parties have been stopped. Hundreds of workers of Nawaz Sharif’s party are in jails and there are also efforts to limit the party’s campaign.
Attack On The Candidates
Not only this, the assassination and attacks on candidates and activists of some other parties have also given rise to the apprehension that efforts are being made to influence the election. On Saturday, Pakistan People’s Party leader Bilawal Bhutto was prevented from holding a rally in Peshawar on the pretext of security.
Now the question arises whether these fears are true? And rightly so, what are those forces which are interfering in the election with the use of governmental and judicial channels and terrorist gangs. Two facts are worth considering in this context. No prime minister in Pakistan’s history has been able to complete his full term of five years and so far it has happened only twice, when the ruling party has completed its term. When there was a peaceful transfer of power after the election to the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz after the Pakistan People’s Party, it was hoped that Pakistan could get rid of unstable political history.
It is a well-known fact that Pakistan has always been ruled by the army and bureaucracy in which zamindars and industrialists play supporting roles. This alliance has always tried to suppress the governments that came to power democratically. One result of this effort is that Pakistan, Afghanistan and Kashmir are victims of terrible violence. The second result is that political parties have also been used by the army and fundamentalist gangs to fulfill their interests. From Zulfikar Ali Bhutto to Nawaz Sharif, Benazir Bhutto, Asif Ali Zardari and Imran Khan are also names in this connection. It is ironic that except Imran Khan, these leaders have also become victims of those forces themselves. Imran has just started, so maybe his turn will come too late. A strong wire of Pakistan’s unpopular politics and its foreign policy also connects with America and Saudi Arabia. Whenever there is a crisis in the country, the name of these two countries definitely comes.
However, we come to the book according to the current election. The Pakistani army is being told the most responsible for negative electoral movements. This charge is not baseless. When Ziaul Haq announced the removal of martial law and holding elections in 1988, it was his best effort that Benazir Bhutto could not get power. To avoid a possible victory of the Pakistan People’s Party, he also made a law that elections will not be held on party basis. But before the election, the military dictator died in an air crash. But to fulfill his master’s intentions, the army’s notorious intelligence agency ISI had set up a party and stood second.
When Musharraf seized power, Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif had to stay outside the country. This time General Musharraf has also been excluded from the election. The elements behind the scenes are placing bets on a player who may be democratic, be staunch and be an army puppet. In such a situation, what can be a better bet than Imran Khan!
Imran Khan’s statement after the arrest of Nawaz Sharif is considered. Citing Nawaz Sharif’s friendship with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he has said that these two leaders want to pursue their political interests by creating an atmosphere of unrest and tension on the border in Pakistan. An activist of Khan’s party Pakistan Tehreek-Insaf, Nawaz Sharif, often utters a slogan – “Who is Modi’s man, is a traitor, is a traitor.”
An interesting incident is also that the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa unit of the National Accountability Bureau has sought a clarification on Imran Khan for using government helicopters 39 times in the last four years. In that province, Imran Khan’s party is in government with an alliance. Many observers consider this episode to be an attempt to make the bureau’s image balanced in the public eye.
ISI and many hardliners like Imran Khan Even the people consider Nawaz Sharif as soft towards India. Such allegations can help in getting votes from Nawaz Sharif’s party. Khan’s influence is in some parts of Punjab besides Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. Punjab is the stronghold of Nawaz Sharif and also has the largest number of seats in the National Assembly.
Dominance In Some Areas
Pakistan People’s Party is dominant in Sindh and in other areas it looks weak. In such a situation, the competition is between Tehreek-Insaaf and Muslim League. Islamic and extremist parties are also in the fray in every province including Balochistan due to which the electoral equation may be affected.
Imran Khan considers these parties as his potential allies. Since the established parties of Balochistan cannot agree with Imran’s agenda, it can be assumed that the terrorist attacks on them will benefit the army and Imran only. Meanwhile, the influential Islamic Maulana Qadri has also opened a front against Nawaz.
The activities of the past are indicating that the next twelve days can be very turbulent, but irrespective of whose government is formed after the elections, the crisis will be deep for Pakistan and this situation will also have a bad effect on India and Afghanistan. In this context, the opinion of two senior intellectuals of Pakistan is very important. Scientist and commentator Pervez Hoodbhoy says that elections usually strengthen democracy, not weak, but it is going to happen after July 25, when the ominous uncertainties will increase. Senior journalist Irfan Hussain has written – Why would anyone want to become Prime Minister in such a situation!