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Pakistan election 2018: Beginning of a tough process, say experts

The general election of Pakistan is not likely to throw up a clear political formula of stability for the trouble-torn country, experts and commentators have said.

“This is a large election with multiple trends and it is unlikely that one trend will dominate the overall narrative,” said Director General of Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA) Dr. T.C.A. Raghavan. He said that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has an upper hand in the overall show but it is likely to be a “tight race” with PML(N).

Dr. Raghavan, who served as a former High Commissioner of India in Pakistan, said that the rise of new religious parties could mean a new phase of Pakistan politics. “Arrival of extremists in mainstream politics is one angle of the election but religious parties usually are not the most successful ones,” he said.

Experts are also saying that the party of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif - PML (N) has been underestimated. “Pakistan Muslim League (N) is unlikely to do badly if signs on the ground are taken into consideration. Media’s assessment regarding his party may go wrong,” said Satinder K. Lambah, former Special Envoy of the Prime Minister.

The arrest of Mr. Sharif has already disturbed the provincial status quo in Pakistan, said a senior Pakistani journalist. “The election will mark the beginning of a particularly volatile phase of Pakistani politics. It is not going to be a one-day affair. Punjab has bulk of the seats of the National Assembly. So disenchantment in the province after the arrest of former PM Nawaz Sharif can impact the ultimate result,” said Sajid Iqbal, senior Pakistani journalist based in London.

 

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Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 3:30:21 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/pakistan-election-2018-beginning-of-a-tough-process-say-experts/article24506951.ece

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