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Pakistan Braces for Nationwide Protests Over Election Results

© AP Photo / B.K.BangashPakistan's election Commission
Pakistan's election Commission - Sputnik India, 1920, 15.02.2024
A cloud of political uncertainty and social unrest looms over Pakistan and its upcoming government.
In the season of general election, various election results have been challenged; some results have not yet been announced yet due to controversies. In some constituencies, there is a call for re-elections. From Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK), Sindh, to Balochistan provinces, political parties are staging protests and sit-ins, demanding the annulment of the results.
They allege that these general elections were heavily rigged. It was the first time in history that the results of each candidate were announced separately, which seems suspicious to say the least.
Each province has its own unique political story. In Sindh, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf PTI and Jamaat-e-Islami JI are protesting; in Balochistan, Pashtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PKMAP), National Party, Jamhoori Wattan Party, Hazara Democratic Party, Balochistan National Party Mengal (BNP-M), Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (F) are among the protesting parties.
Additionally, in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK), the National Democratic Movement (NDP), Awami National Party, and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-F (JUI-F) are involved in the protests.

Challenges to Democracy: Wheeling & Dealing and Political Unrest in Pakistan

In the meantime, Mualana Fazal-ur-Rehman, the leader of JUI-F, along with JI, NDM, NP, BNP (M), HDP, and PKMAP parties, are planning to initiate a nationwide socio-political movement against electoral rigging.
In this regard, Fazal ur Rehman, a key figure in this initiative, was once a close ally of Nawaz Sharif. He played a significant role in the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) movement, which was launched in 2021 against the Imran Khan government, and he served as the head of the PDM during that time.

Now again, more than ten political parties are planning to launch massive countrywide protests. Eventually, some of the political parties will have already organized sit-ins.

However, according to the current political situation, there is a significant amount of horse-trading orchestrated by PML-N, involving the manipulation of PTI-supported winning candidates through financial inducements and incentives. Similarly, there is a force being used against those PTI candidates who are not ready to change their loyalty toward PTI as per media reports.
Senior political analyst and journalist Imran Riaz Khan, expressed his dismay over the situation on X (previously Twitter), labeling it as shameful that loyalties of independent candidates supported by PTI are being swayed. This development is seen as a troubling sign for democracy in Pakistan.

All in all, as per report, Pakistan's PMLN and the PPP are set to lead a six-party coalition with a solid majority to make government, despite accusations from the PTI of electoral mandate theft.

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
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