The First Democratic Transition In Pakistan Might Not Be All Smooth Sailing

Sameera Ehteram
All praise to Pakistanis who went out and voted despite the threats, rumors and a history of rigged elections. Their hopes at the moment are in a precarious balance as news of rigging of polls, attacks on polling stations and announcements of parties withdrawing from elections pour in from all over the country.

pakistan elections 2013

On the day of the polls a bombing in Karachi targeted a campaign office belonging to the Awami National Party, a Pashtun-dominated organization that has governed the volatile northwest province of Khyber-Pakhtunkwha over the last five years. Police were still investigating how the bomb attack was carried out and so far over twenty people have been reported killed during the day so far.   

The news of attacks at various polling stations across Pakistan including Karachi, Peshawar, and Balochistan had been dribbling in all day. Killing over.... and injuring another…

As the day progressed towards a winding down of polls, news of rigging started polling in.

The enthusiasm of the people is now showing traces of frustration and anger as they take to social media to utter their disbelief and disappointment. However, the people, having a chance to make a difference after such a long time, are not willing to give up!





The campaign was carried out with mixed results as it is. The ruling Pakistan People’s Party, was forced to run a subdued campaign as their leader (President Asif Ali Zardari) was barred by court rulings to do any campaigning while serving in the presidency. His son, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari was warned to stay away because of threats to his life from militants.

Eventually it became a battle between the PML-N  led by former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, and relative new comers to Pakistan elections, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf led by Imran Khan.

Imran Khan has over time has not only morphed into a dominant political force, but is responsible for getting many Pakistanis to come out and vote for the first time.  The droves that came out to vote proves it.

pakistan elections 2013

The hope, however, for free and fair elections is dimming with the setting sun.  The Election Commission of Pakistan says they will annul the results if this continues and rigging is indeed proven.

Pakistanis wait to see what happens. The next few hours are indeed, extremely crucial!