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Political Turmoil in Pakistan: PTI Faces Challenges From Dynastic Alliances

© AFP 2023 ARIF ALISupporters and activists of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party take part in an election campaign rally in Lahore on January 28, 2024.
Supporters and activists of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party take part in an election campaign rally in Lahore on January 28, 2024. - Sputnik India, 1920, 14.02.2024
The uncertainty surrounding election results and the rise in clashes raise concerns about potential socio-political instability if PML-N and PPP-supported candidates were to become Prime Ministers of Pakistan.
After a week of major election contests and disputes over the results, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) supported candidates still maintain a lead with 92 seats in the center and hold a majority in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa KPK. Meanwhile, Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) led by Nawaz Sharif has secured 79 seats, and Pakistan People's Party (PPP) led by Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has 54 seats in the center.
But, in a meanwhile, in a strategic move, PPP and PML (N) have formed an alliance to create a coalition government in Pakistan to challenge PTI's position being a single leading party. Despite this, protests and challenges to election results continue in various constituencies, leading to ongoing controversies in several regions.

However, according to the media report, Ex-PM of Pakistan Shehbaz Sharif is expected to be nominated as the candidate for the next PM of Pakistan by a new coalition alliance formed by various parties just ignoring PTI.

Pakistan Election Conundrum: What Lies Ahead?

The irony is that, in the early hours of February 9, following a day of general elections, initial unofficial reports indicated, PTI supported independent candidates were making significant strides, presenting an unexpected development.

"PTI has emerged victorious in the general election by a significant margin, but political dilemma is that the outcome was altered due to delays. It will pose a considerable challenge for Shehbaz Sharif to govern effectively with a fragile government structure comprising numerous coalition partners," a PTI supporter, & Political analyst, Danishwar Khan told Sputnik.

Despite the initial media report results favoring these PTI-backed independents, the counting process was abruptly halted. At a subsequent time, PML-N started clinching victories in Punjab province, and the Centre, leading to unrest and protests.

"The upcoming government will bring another wave of socio-political turmoil to Pakistan. No government can successfully achieve its economic objectives and foster political stability without honoring the true mandate of Pakistan's largest party, the PTI. This situation is likely to deepen societal divisions," Abdul Samad Yaqoob, a senior politician & PTI spokesman, told Sputnik.

Interestingly, for the first time in Pakistan's political history, a week has passed since 8th February, yet the general election results remain clouded in uncertainty. Some results are being challenged, fueling ongoing protests by specific political candidates.

"In a meantime, the opposition is expected to be formidable, with a high likelihood of public protests taking the shape of a long march or sit-in. Achieving political stability will prove challenging for the incoming government, as they are likely to encounter significant public pressure due to the lack of popular support from the voters," Danishwar Khan expressed.

Uncertainty & Unrest: The Post-Election Landscape in Pakistan

Notwithstanding, looking at the general election seasons before and after, there has been a rise in terrorist activities, bomb blasts, target killings, and irked, crackdowns against PTI campaigners. This raises the possibility of socio-political unrest and instability in Pakistan if PPP and PML-N candidates were to become Prime Minister, as PTI has emerged as the largest party.
As per media report, in a meantime of election result discussion, a PTI-supported MPA victor from the Rawalpindi region was tragically attacked on Tuesday, while in clashes, in some cities, several Political workers lost their lives, and got injuries.

"Despite all these obstructions, PTI party does not believe in violence and is not expecting any riots, clashes, or violence. We are committed to a policy of non-violence and non-cooperation. PTI will peacefully protest against what we believe to be a stolen mandate," A.S.Yaqoob, a senior political analyst of PTI said Sputnik.

Late Tuesday night, there were armed clashes in Balochistan that took the lives of two political workers and 12 injuries. Similarly, in Balochistan, where PML-N and PPP have most of the seats, political parties are protesting and have joined hands to protest "rigging in elections.".
Overall, as per media report, there are concerns about potential horse-trading to sway the loyalties of successful PTI-supported independent candidates through deals and monetary incentives. Horse-trading in politics typically involves the exchange of votes, support, or other resources among different parties or factions to pass legislation, secure funding, or gain political advantage.

"However, given Pakistan's significant security and economic challenges, many believe that a coalition government without a clear public mandate lacks the moral authority and legitimacy to make difficult decisions and implement necessary reforms. It is argued that PDM 2 (PPP & PML'n') lacks the capacity to effectively govern the nation, " PTI Spokesperson further expressed.

Despite these challenges, independent candidates backed by PTI continue to maintain their lead as a unified party.
Nevertheless, controversy arises as per a media report stating that the PPP leadership has mentioned that they will only support the PML (N) candidate for the Prime Ministership in the center by voting in favor, but they will not be part of the central government. This situation also hints at potential political instability ahead.
Similarly, as per media report, Sher Afzal Marwat, current vice president of PTI, has claimed that he is intented to meet senior leader of PPP, and former president of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari to talk about country political matters.
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