Pakistan elections and the hope for democracy

This year’s general elections in Pakistan will be remembered for two things: the determination of the people of Pakistan to see them through and the equal determination of the men of violence to prevent them. As Pakistanis prepare to go to the polls on May 11, there is much nervousness and hope for its outcome, potentially the first successful democratic transition between two popularly elected governments in Pakistan’s history.

What my experience as a district officer has taught me, however, is that there is nothing more dangerous than changing horses in mid-stream. National elections have proven in the past to lead to the collapse of law and order and the imposition of martial law. With the promise of the current elections, this is a cycle that appears to be broken, but we should be aware of its dangers.

Akbar Ahmed

Al Jazeera, Qatar

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3 thoughts on “Pakistan elections and the hope for democracy

    • I doubt that this is what the author had in mind while writing this article. It seems to me that he is just warning everyone that, given the political history of Pakistan, things could go south if the vote is very close. It is the first time this country will experience a transition between two democratically elected governments. May 11th will be an interesting day, I’m personally keeping an eye on Imran Khan’s party: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf. They have spoken out tirelessly against corruption.

      • Interesting perspective Francois. IK may pull off a surprise but I would be very surprised if anything other than coalition government comes into power.

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