Imran Khan, el jugador de cricket convertido en político, será el próximo primer ministro de Pakistán. El recuento de votos se completó tres días después de que se celebraran las elecciones el 25 de julio, cuando llevó a la victoria a su partido, el Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). Se requiere que un partido (o coalición) tenga el apoyo de al menos 137 miembros de la Asamblea Nacional para convocar a un gobierno y Khan está cerca de lograr esa cifra. Tras ganar 115 escaños, el PTI debería poder obtener el apoyo de algunos independientes y miembros de media decena de partidos menores, y es probable que jure el cargo antes del 14 de agosto, cuando Pakistán celebra sus 71 años de independencia.… Seguir leyendo »
“We shall see / Certainly we too shall see that day that has been promised us.” So say the first lines of one of the best-known poems by the Pakistani poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz. Pakistanis trot it out with alacrity in any situation that requires waiting and watching, as elections in Pakistan invariably do. So it was with the general election last week, when both those who were ambivalent about Imran Khan’s incipient victory and those who were ecstatic about it were sharing the poem on social media.
Faiz would almost certainly have balked at this use of his work. A Marxist who endured imprisonment and then exile, he had little love for demagogues and even less liking for the Pakistani military, whose habitual meddling in political affairs he famously opposed.… Seguir leyendo »
Whatever the prospects of a ‘new’ Pakistan emerging from this week’s general election, expectations of a major shift in the country’s regional policies are likely to be ill-founded. The prime minister-elect, Imran Khan of the Pakistan Justice Party (PTI), in his victory speech on 26 July signalled as much, stressing continuity in foreign policy.
The reasons for this are not hard to establish.
For decades Pakistan’s regional foreign policies vis-à-vis India and Afghanistan have been the preserve of the military and treated as extensions of national security. Attempts by elected governments to craft independent regional policies or initiate dialogue with neighbours, notably India, have entailed heavy penalties.… Seguir leyendo »
Pakistan just held a national election Wednesday, but it ended in a major controversy. A few hours after the vote count began on election night, results stopped trickling in from polling stations. Since then, major political parties have alleged systematic manipulation and rigging. Results — to the extent that they are available — suggest a victory for the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).
The election was essentially between Pakistan’s two largest political parties, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the PTI. Pre-election polls suggested the two parties were locked in a tight contest. The unofficial results showed PTI won about 110 out of 272 seats in Pakistan’s National Assembly.… Seguir leyendo »
Le 25 juillet, quelque cent millions de Pakistanais – dont près de la moitié dans la tranche d’âge des 18-35 ans – vont avoir la possibilité de se prononcer sur les personnes qu’ils souhaitent voir les représenter au sein de l’Assemblée nationale et dans les assemblées provinciales. Près de douze mille candidats se disputent les huit cent quarante-neuf sièges « généraux » en jeu : deux cent soixante-douze à l’Assemblée nationale et cinq cent soixante-dix-sept dans les assemblées provinciales.
A cela s’ajouteront les sièges réservés aux femmes et aux minorités religieuses et attribués aux partis en proportion de leurs résultats électoraux.… Seguir leyendo »
Imran Khan, Pakistan’s prime minister in waiting, hates being a loser. He has said, “As a sportsman I know winning & losing are part of the game,” but that was after coming out of retirement to win the Cricket World Cup in 1992. And losing doesn’t seem to be part of his idea of the political game.
Yet for a very long time Khan was a loser — that other kind of loser, the one you still hear in President Trump’s Twitter voice. For much of two decades, while pledging to bring about a revolution and saying things like “when I become prime minister,” he prowled the margins of Pakistani politics.… Seguir leyendo »
On Friday, several hundred tribesmen and students from religious seminaries gathered at a public meeting in Mastung, a town in Pakistan’s southwestern Balochistan province, to hear Siraj Raisani, a 55-year-old politician from the Balochistan Awami Party.
As he appeared on stage wearing dark sunglasses, the crowd cheered, whistled and raised their hands, in a gesture affirming their loyalty to him. “O! Brave people of Balochistan!” said Mr. Raisani, who was known and feared for his strong ties to the Pakistani military. Before he could utter a second sentence, a suicide bomber blew himself up near the stage. The explosion killed Mr.… Seguir leyendo »
Two weeks before its general elections on July 25, Pakistan is bracing for another political storm. On Friday, an anticorruption court sentenced former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to 10 years in prison in a case arising after the Panama Papers leaks revealed that Mr. Sharif’s family owned four undeclared apartments in London. The court also sentenced Maryam Nawaz Sharif, his daughter and political heir, to seven years in prison.
The conviction and impending arrest of Mr. Sharif and his daughter is expected to turn the electoral season fraught and potentially impact the results, if Mr. Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, also known as P.M.L.N.,… Seguir leyendo »
Pakistan’s next election may not be until July, but one newly formed political party was just designated a terrorist organization by the U.S. Department of State. The Milli Muslim League (MML) formed in August 2017 as the latest incarnation of an organization once described as “the most lethal terrorist group operating from South Asia.”
That organization, Lashkar-e-Taiba, (Army of the Righteous, also known as LeT) is perhaps best known for its involvement in the deadly 2008 Mumbai attacks, which killed 166 people in a multiday battle. Hafiz Saeed founded the militant group in 1990, and it initially operated primarily in Indian-administered Kashmir.… Seguir leyendo »
Pakistan is home to many Islamist terrorist groups. Some enjoy a permissive environment despite technically being banned by the state. This has enabled them to acquire political power. Politicians sometimes court terrorist leaders to turn out voters.
While researching counterterrorism a few summers ago, I met with a high-ranking Pakistani official to talk about his decision to attend a campaign rally with the leader of a proscribed terrorist organization. He admitted that getting the terrorist leader to turn out voters for a politician was his motivation. He also suggested that encouraging such men get into politics was better than seeing them remain involved in terrorism.… Seguir leyendo »
In an election campaign that has made Donald Trump look like a crazy, self-imploding clown, here are two statements the Republican presidential nominee has made that are indisputably true. The first was his observation that airports in the United States are like those in a (so-called) “Third World country.” The second was his comment that the India-Pakistan equation is a “very, very hot tinderbox.”
Indians and Pakistanis who agree on nothing these days found themselves nervously giggling in unison at Trump’s offer to “mediate” between the two countries. But unwittingly the bombastic candidate actually flagged one of the foreign policy challenges that could necessitate the next U.S.… Seguir leyendo »
“Are we going to see a new Pakistan?” The question is posed to college students sitting cross-legged on cushions at the Café Bol here — and elsewhere across the country on the eve of Saturday’s general elections.
Pakistan seems like a country of two elections, two battles shaping the course of a nation already battered on every front — from power cuts crippling the economy to violence tearing at its very seams.
One election is driven by fear, in which liberal-minded candidates and party offices are attacked almost daily by Pakistani Taliban who’ve declared this democracy un-Islamic. In three of four provinces, there has not been much of a campaign.… Seguir leyendo »
It didn't take long after Imran Khan's fall – 4.5 metres from a makeshift platform on a forklift at a campaign rally – for his supporters to begin comparing him to a warrior unseated from his horse in battle. If there was a note of triumph in their voice as they said it, it's not entirely surprising.
On Tuesday afternoon, Khan was the only halfway serious challenger to Nawaz Sharif's bid to become prime minister for the third time when the nation goes to the polls on 11 May – but then came the fall, and a moment of unity for a nation that had been at one another's throats in the runup to elections.… Seguir leyendo »
En Pakistán se acerca rápidamente el momento de la verdad política. Unos 40 a 50 millones de votantes elegirán una nueva asamblea nacional el 11 de mayo. El resultado, precedido por un aumento de la violencia extremista, probablemente tendrá repercusiones de gran alcance.
Los grupos terroristas que se gestaron en el propio Pakistán saben que el país está en un punto de inflexión, y atacan a los candidatos y a los votantes que están a favor de un Estado laico. Cientos de personas han sido asesinadas y, sin duda, más van a morir antes del día de la elección, ya que se las toma como blanco porque, si estos grupos prevalecen, impulsarían lo que a veces se llama la “idea de Pakistán” llevándola a su conclusión lógica – y extrema.… Seguir leyendo »
Pakistan is at a crossroads. The gravity of the situation has led me, at the insistence of my Pakistan People's Party (PPP), to run for president in Saturday's elections. My children and I are still mourning our beloved leader, wife and mother, Benazir Bhutto. We did not make the decision for me to run lightly. But we know what is at stake. Chief among the challenges that all Pakistanis face is the threat of global terrorism, demonstrated again in this week's assassination attempt against Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani.
Returning Pakistan's presidency to democratic governance is a huge step in our country's transition from dictatorship to democracy.… Seguir leyendo »
While it’s good news that secular moderates are expected to dominate Pakistan’s parliamentary elections on Monday, nobody here thinks the voting will spell the end of militant extremism. Democratic leaders have a poor track record in battling militants and offer no convincing remedies. Pakistan’s military will continue to manage the war against the Taliban and its Qaeda allies, while President Pervez Musharraf will remain America’s primary partner. The only long-term solution may lie in the hands of an overlooked natural ally in the war on terrorism: the Pakistani people.
This may come as a surprise to Americans, but the Wahhabist religion professed by the militants is more foreign to most Pakistanis than Karachi’s 21 KFCs.… Seguir leyendo »