Election Timing Guessing Game Continues in Pakistan

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77 years after independence, elections in Pakistan are often a guessing game as it all depends on the whims of the omnipotent military establishment.

Despite the Election Commission of Pakistan’s assurances that polls will be held at the end of January it appears that that many are not fully convinced that will happen. In a recent interview President Arif Alvi, stated that he was not confident elections would be held on time. The very next day the ECP stressed it would announce a schedule for elections as soon as the final delimitations are announced.

As an editorial in Dawn warned, “The stakes are enormous for everyone involved, and it is not without reason that political parties are growing jittery. With the paranoia refusing to dissipate, doubts regarding the election are expected to linger. The situation has been complicated by the fact that the state appears to be leaning too heavily to one side. An election conducted in such conditions would be very difficult to legitimise. Perhaps this is why some feel it may be put off. Considering that the ECP seems committed to its timeline, it must consider intervening to provide a more level playing field to the contesting parties. Giving all candidates an equal opportunity may help erase their misgivings.”

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Author: K.M. Rizvi