Pakistani voters are casting their votes today to elect new National Assembly of Pakistan that will bring the first transition between civilian government in a country ruled by the military in its 66-year history. Which party do you think will lead the Pakistan government after the people mandate? Will this election bring new leadership to Pakistan? Will the old elite, corrupt, incompetent, and poor governance, be voted out of power?
If the voters turn out at 45% – 50%, it will give a better chance for Imran Khan, the cricketer-turned-politician. However, this crucial Parliamentary election has been marred with violence. More than 110 people have already been killed in the election-related violence. On Thursday, the son of former Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani was abducted during an election rally. On Friday, the Taliban warned voters to boycott polling stations to avoid attacks. The Pakistani Taliban threatened to carry out suicide attacks.
Japan’s election observer was dispatched to oversee Pakistan’s general elections arrived in Islamabad late Wednesday. Earlier today, Pakistan ordered the expulsion of The New York Times’ Islamabad bureau chief ahead of the landmark polls in the country accusing him of “undesirable activities,” the newspaper has said. Pakistan’s Interior Ministry has ordered the expulsion of New York Times Islamabad bureau chief Declan Walsh on the eve of national elections, the newspaper said yesterday.
Today’s report says, Polling in Pakistan’s landmark general election was marred by four bomb blasts in Karachi, Quetta and Peshawar that killed at least 11 people and injured over 40. The bomb went off near in the southern port of Karachi, in the Awami National Party’s election officers after thousands of people started voting.
The first blast went off neat Amanullah Mehsud’s election office. Several ANP workers were died, and many are injured but Mehsud escaped unhurt. The second blast went off in the same area as rescuers were busy rushing the victims to the hospital. Five people were injured. The second blast disrupted the voting for some time because it triggered a stampede. The bomb was allegedly attached to a motorcycle parked near the polling station. Dawn.com reported that the son of senior leader Imtiaz Shaikh of the Pakistan Muslim League (PML-F) was injured in a clash between two opposing political groups in Shikarpur, Pakistan.
Taliban vowed more attacks amid strings of shooting and bombings
Can Imran Khan win?
While Imran Khan got a huge chunk of the youth and urban votes, the agricultural and rural areas is still dominated by the Pakistan politics who have control over millions of voters. However, he is expected to win from 20-50 seats with the power to shape the government. Then again, in the absence of reliable polling data no one knows for sure how he will do.
Written by: Janet Grace Ortigas