Home South Asia Pakistan Expert analysis: Pakistan faces widespread unrest over alleged election fraud

Expert analysis: Pakistan faces widespread unrest over alleged election fraud


Pakistan is in the midst of upheaval as accusations of widespread election rigging ignite nationwide protests, spearheaded by Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), decrying what they perceive as blatant manipulation of the democratic process.

Senior Pakistani journalist Hamid Mir has shed light on the prevailing discontent among the populace, echoing widespread anti-establishment sentiments following the recent general elections. Speaking to CNBC-TV18, Mir emphasized the disillusionment stemming from the absence of a clear majority winner and the palpable resentment evident in protests across the nation.

“The mood among the people of Pakistan was genuinely against the establishment, as evidenced by the defeat of parties aligned with it. Parties taking a stand against non-political interference in politics received significant support from voters across all four provinces. However, the overall outcome is deeply disappointing as no party managed to secure a majority, not even a simple one,” Mir remarked.

Pakistan’s political landscape has become more polarized as Imran Khan’s PTI party claims the election was rigged and lost 85 seats. Khan has ruled out any alliance with other major parties, such as PPP and PML, deepening the divide in Pakistani politics. Thousands of protesters have blocked the roads in Pakistan’s major cities, demanding a re-run of the election. Mir said that “there is a lot of resentment on the roads of Pakistan, all the big cities are jammed, people are sitting on the roads, they are protesting against the election rigging.” He added: “It’s not only PTI that is complaining about the rigging, there are more than 10 local parties that are on the roads. PTI will join them tomorrow, but there are already 10 political parties on the roads against the rigging.” Mir thinks that despite PTI’s setback, Khan’s party is still a significant force, prepared to serve as the opposition in the new parliament. He said: “…Imran Khan has decided that they will be the opposition in the center and in Punjab, but they will make a government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province which borders Afghanistan and they have some members in Balochistan too, but they are not in a position to make a government there.” He said: “So Imran Khan has decided to be the opposition in the new parliament and I think they will give a very tough time…he will be a formidable force,” Mir said.

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