An overview of upcoming elections in Pakistan

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There is a country in the world which was considered to be a very strong ally of the US. The US has always been known for its efforts to promote democracy, but in that country, the US has been accused of trampling democracy through force.
Pakistan played a major role in defeating the Soviet Union and then only one superpower remained in the world, the United States of America. But the strange coincidence is that before the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, a democratic government was overthrown in Pakistan and martial law was imposed. What is even more strange is that the democratic leader whose government was overthrown was threatened by US officials a few years ago to make him a lesson.

At present, the worst crackdown is on the party PTI of a former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan. It should be remembered that when Imran Khan was the Prime Minister of Pakistan, American official Donald Lue said while talking to Pakistani officials that if Imran Khan was not removed, then the US-Pakistan relations will deteriorate. After a few days Imran Khan’s allied parties and few MNAs of his own party leave him. He had to leave office in the event of the success of the vote of no confidence. It is said that the coalition parties and party MNAs did all this under the pressure of the Pakistani establishment.

After that, the worst crackdown on Imran Khan and PTI began.
On May 9, 2023, Imran Khan was arrested without any court order, on which his party workers got agitated and started protesting in front of military centers. Some workers broke into the house of the Corps Commander Lahore, ransacked it and set the building on fire. While some activists entered the general headquarters of the Pakistan Army and started protesting. After which Imran Khan was released on the court order.

The establishment of Pakistan declared these events as 9/11 for Pakistan and then the severe crackdown on PTI started. It was unprecedented in the democratic history of Pakistan.
Arrests of important party leaders began and thousands of PTI workers were arrested and imprisoned without trials. On August 5, 2023, Khan was again arrested. His party leaders were tortured and forced to hold press conferences. In the conferences, they would only give this statement that from now on we have nothing to do with PTI and the events of May 9 had already been ordered by Imran Khan. When a jailed leader was produced in a court, the judge said, “These people will not leave you until you hold a press conference.”
A lot changed in the country during this period. After the success of the motion of no confidence against Imran Khan, 13 opposition parties formed a government together which ended in August and the caretaker government took over on 14 August. According to the Pakistani constitution, the task of the caretaker government is to hold elections within 90 days. However, the military establishment did not approve the elections and now the caretaker government has entered its 5th month.

Earlier, Khan had ordered his party’s governments in 2 provences to dissolve the assemblies.
In January 2023, both assemblies were dissolved. According to the constitution, elections should have been held there in April 2023, but the military establishment did not approve it and the caretaker provincial governments are still ruling there. The caretaker governments are completely following the orders of the military establishment. It is a kind of undeclared martial law.
The military establishment knew that if the elections were held, Imran Khan would win the elections with a huge majority, which they did not approve of. It was decided to weaken Imran Khan very much before the elections. And waiting for the arrival of a Chief Justice in the Supreme Court who had a personal grudge against Imran Khan.

He was Justice Faiz Isa. Justice Isa became the Chief Justice of Pakistan on September 17. The Pakistani establishment allowed elections to be held in February. A bench formed by Justice Isa allowed trial of PTI workers in military courts.

Before the election, the Election Commission of Pakistan stripped the PTI of its election symbol “bat”.

The Peshawar High Court declared the Election Commission’s decision illegal, however, the bench under the supervision of Justice Isa suspended the decision of the High Court on January 13 and PTI was deprived of its election symbol just before the elections.

After the election symbols have been despoiled, different symbols have been given to different candidates and many of them will contest the elections as independents. A significant number of the population of Pakistan is uneducated. They do not know how to read and write. The PTI has been so divided that people are now wondering which one is PTI’s own candidate and which one has defected from.

Moreover, in such a case, if a party member is successful, the party constitution will not apply to him and someone could be pressurized him to vote in favor of making someone else the prime minister in the parliament.

Khan is currently in jail and his nomination papers for the election have been rejected, after which he cannot participate in the election.

Analyzing this, a Pakistani journalist said: “The decision against the PTI came only because its public popularity is immense. It has been punished for its extraordinary popularity.”

On January 15, PTI lawyers withdrew their appeal from the Supreme Court of Pakistan regarding the level playing field in the elections.

“We don’t want to fight this case in your court. Now we will go to the public court. Because of your decision of Jan 13, more than 255 seats have been taken away from us. All our candidates will contest as independent candidates.”” A lawyer of PTI addressed Justice Isa on that day.
The biggest party of Pakistan has expressed no confidence in the biggest court of Pakistan. International news agencies are also describing the court decision of Jan 13, as a pre-pool raging, while the party that is becoming a victim of this decision has no justification for not doing so.

These issues have been raised several times before the US authorities, but they are calling it an internal problem of Pakistan. However, in the face of the question of independent journalists, they remain silent as to why the US reacts so strongly to the arrests of opposition leaders in anti-US countries.
Elections are going to be held in Pakistan in February. All preparations have been completed to completely exclude PTI from these elections.

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1 thought on “An overview of upcoming elections in Pakistan”

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