Monday, 20 August, 2018

Pakistan polls: Former cricketers turn to support Imran Khan

Imran Khan has deliberately ignored the Indian media during his campaign rallies Imran Khan has deliberately ignored the Indian media during his campaign rallies
Leonard Rios | 24 July, 2018, 23:55

Sunday's attack targeted the vehicle of Ikramullah Gandapur, a candidate of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), for the provisional legislative assembly in the city of Dera Ismail Khan, two police officials told Reuters.

However, supporters of Sharif argue his downfall was politically motivated, with his younger brother, Shehbaz, now leading the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).

Many experts contend that it will be business as usual whoever wins the election, with the military - which has ruled the country directly or indirectly for much of its 71-year history - remaining Pakistan's de facto ruler.

Pakistani soldiers search election officers of a voting material distribution center in Lahore on July 24, 2018.

Sixty seats are reserved for women while 10 have been kept aside for religious minorities including Hindus.

In 2013, the PML-N won 126 seats, while Mr Khan's party came third with 28 seats. This election is significant because it will mark only the second time that one civilian government has handed power to another after serving a full term.

Gandapur was the former agriculture minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. In future, Khan himself will have to walk the talk as per the directives of the military establishment, which would mean no improvement in India-Pakistan relations.

The independent Human Rights Commission of Pakistan said there were "ample grounds to doubt" the legitimacy of the elections and criticised the "blatant, aggressive and unabashed attempts to manipulate the outcome of the upcoming elections".

The PTI has accused India of supporting Nawaz Sharif and called it the main conspirator of the'international agenda against Pakistan
The PTI has accused India of supporting Nawaz Sharif and called it the main conspirator of the'international agenda against Pakistan

More than 85,000 polling stations have been set up.

But after the elections, reports of ballot rigging and political murders surfaced, prompting the Pakistan Amry General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq to dispose of him in a military coup.

The PTI has accused India of supporting Nawaz Sharif and called it the main conspirator of the "international agenda against Pakistan".

Sharif and daughter Maryam Nawaz, who was also found guilty, returned to face their prison sentences.

But Imran Khan and his PTI have been rising in the polls.

"It's two planks", Sayed said of the PML-N's appeal to voters.

Now fronted by Ms Bhutto's son, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, a 29-year-old Oxford University graduate, the party is promising to create a "peaceful, progressive, prosperous, democratic Pakistan". Benazir Bhutto came to power and was elected the Prime Minister for the 2nd time, but her party Pakistan People Party (PPP) could not manage to emerge the single largest party.

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