In the age group of septuagenarian, we obviously had interest in the proceedings of the general elections in Pakistan held on July 25. There were allegations of rigging and behind-the-scene exercise of influence. Some also threatened to reject election results. But, eventually democratic spirit prevailed. Election Commission has announced 51.85 per cent voters exercised their right to franchise. The election marks civilian transfer of power.
The election results show display of multi-party democracy in Pakistan. Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) or Pakistan Movement for Justice, led by cricket hero-turned politician Imran Khan has emerged as the largest party in parliament with 115 seats. The outgoing ruling party Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) (PML-N) has got 64 seats and Pakistan People's Party (PPP) 43 seats. Independents won 12 seats. Muttahida Majlis-e Amal (MMA) got 12 seats, Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) 06 seats. Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Quaid) and Baluchistan Awami Party (BAP) have won 04 seats each. Sind based party Grand Democratic Alliance (GAP) 02 seats. Baluchistan National Party (BNP) led by Akhter Mangal got 03 seats and Awami National Party (ANP) 01 seat. Awami Muslim League (AML), Pakistan- e-Insaniat and Zamhuri Watan Party (ZWP) got 01 seat each.
PTI has not received absolute majority, for which 137 seats needed. So it has gone for coalition in democratic way got support of more 22 seats and form Government. Imran Khan is scheduled to take oath as prime minister of Pakistan on August 11.
Former Indian cricket captains Kapil Dev and Dilip Vengsarker have profusely praised Imran Khan. Kapil believes Pakistan would develop under his guidance. Indo-Pak relations would improve under him, said Vengsarker. Both of them narrated their long cricket field experiences while played against Pakistan team led by Imran and paid rich tributes.
It is really heartening to note a new party under new leadership has emerged breaking old feudalistic tentacles and dynasty politics in Pakistan. Imran founded the party in 1996 and step by step progressed in last 22 years and reached the present stage. The youth force was his mainstay.
We are waiting to see how much Imran Khan succeeds in implementing his campaign pledges and improve economic condition of Pakistan, particularly creates 10 million new jobs for the youth. He has promised to improve the relation of Pakistan with India. If he succeeds in doing so, it will be a boon for the SAARC faternity.
Muhammad Quamrul Islam is an economist, advocate and social activist
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