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Pakistan Is On Gradual Path To Democratisation

The dent in Nawaz Sharif’s electoral power, engineered with much care, has boosted Imran Khan’s position in the forthcoming election in Pakistan.

Pakistan Is On Gradual Path To Democratisation
Pakistan Is On Gradual Path To Democratisation
outlookindia.com
2019-11-05T17:58:33+05:30

In less than ten days, Pakistanis will elect a new government. This is the third general election in the past decade and there will be a peaceful transfer of power after July 25. This is cause for celebration, since democratic discontinuity has been a perennial theme of Pakistan’s history. If anything, Pakistan’s democracy has made progress and there is a consensus on the continuation of the democratic project. As is the case with most transitional polities, this is not an easy transformation.

Read Also: The Pathan Suits: Can Imran Khan Lay A New Path For Pakistan’s Fractured Polity?

The election campaign for the forthcoming polls has been marred by a number of worrying developments. There is the ongoing turmoil around former prime minister and his party, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). Sharif was ousted through a court verdict in July 2017, after the Panama Leaks scandal indicated his family had amassed offshore wealth, some of which was allegedly laundered from Pakistan. Sharif denies this charge and his narrative—it has been rather popular with his home base in the largest Punjab province—holds that he has been punished for standing up to the powerful military. Sharif was disqualified to hold office and on July 5 an anti-corruption court convicted him and his daughter—the fiery heiress Maryam—of presumed corrupt practices.

Both father and daughter are jailed in Rawalpindi. This may garner sympathy votes, but Punjab’s electorate swings towards the one who is likely to gain power. Punjab matters for whoever wants to form the government at the Centre. In the lower house, out of a...

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