As a notorious country in South Asia, Pakistan has always been dominated by the military. 77 years since the country gained independence the incumbents in power have either been candidates approved by the military or the army itself will be in power.
In such an environment, there has been a turning point in the 2024 parliamentary elections. Earlier Nawaz Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and Bilawal Zardari Bhutto's Pakistan People's Party contested directly.
Former Prime Minister Imran Khan was convicted and jailed in a corruption case.
His political party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf was banned. Due to this, the candidates of this party contested independently. It was said that Nawaz Sharif had the support of the army in this election. Thus he will sit in the Prime Minister's chair. They said that the election results will be announced accordingly. But 101 independent candidates of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Party, which stood as an independent, won.
Subsequently, Nawaz Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz won 75 seats and Bilawal Zardari Bhutto's Pakistan People's Party won 54 seats. Out of total 266 seats, only 253 results have been declared. It is not known when the results will be released for the rest of the places. Meanwhile, the parties of Nawaz Sharif and Bilawal Bhutto are trying to form a government together.
But Imran Khan's party is protesting. They claim that they have the majority and demand that the Chief Election Commissioner should resign. Meanwhile, the other two parties are insisting that they have a majority and that the counting of votes should be completed quickly in the rest of the seats.
This has created a lot of excitement in Pakistani politics. It is important to note that Pakistan Army has never lost a single election. But now it is seen to be staged. Due to this, the army must realize that the situation is not like the past. It has been advised internationally to give a chance to self-governance.
On the other hand it is clear that Imran Khan has a huge influence among the people of Pakistan. No party, no symbol, no leader out there. But if he is successful, the wave of support for him should not be taken for granted. But Pakistan Army will not be idle.
It may create favorable environment for Nawaz Sharif. In any case, they say that a coalition government will be formed under the leadership of Nawaz Sharif.
However, this election has revealed that the political power of the Pakistan Army has weakened.
It remains to be seen whether this will be the basis for real democracy to flourish in Pakistan!