IMRAN KHAN wins in Pakistan

By Amir S. Ali

General election results in Pakistan on Wednesday July 25, 2018, declared Imran Khan a cricket legend turned politician victorious. Elections were held in 270 constituencies for National Assembly. Imran Khan’s the Pakistan Tehreek-eInsaf party (PTI) became the single largest party at the national level both in terms of popular vote and seats.

The former ruling Pakistan Muslim League (PML) came in second with 64 seats and the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) of late Benazir Bhutto won 43 seats. Khan will form a coalition government with the independents and the negotiations have already been started. Khan however, wouldn’t shake hands with religious fundamentalists he was up against his whole political life. Undoubtedly, Imran Khan is the most popular countryman and well known in the world and his focus would be to reduce corruption which he indicated in his
various speeches that corruption is eating away Pakistan like a cancer. He stood to end corruption and provide justice to common citizens. His personal honesty is his strength.
In a nation obsessed with cricket, Khan cleverly leveraged his star status to transition into a career in politics, founding the PTI, formerly known as the Justice Party, in 1996. While banking on the PTI’s success as a regional party, Khan and his anti-graft mantra struck a chord with young and middle-class Pakistanis.

Khan’s popularity has surged in recent years as he shared his vision for a “New Pakistan” at a time when the country’s middle class has grown disenchanted with an economy on the brink of crisis. The currency has spiraled, inflation is persistent and debt remains high. Khan was also widely seen as the preferred candidate of the country’s powerful military, which has directly ruled Pakistan for almost half its independent existence since 1947, and has maintained an outsized influence over politics throughout that period.

Military had been used by United States twice first to expel USSR from Afghanistan and then to stop Binladin led force, Taliban from the territories they wanted to control. On both occasions military did what they were asked to do causing serious damage to Pakistan’s economy and displaced millions of people who had nothing to do with Taliban or Al Qaida.

Khan disliked ‘war on terror’; particularly use of drones, and the allied forces that targeted terrorist networks but also killed hundreds of civilians. However, since the situation
is changed and terror activities are almost gone he would focus to bring the country back on its feet by strengthening the economy.