ANI Photo | Security experts say, “Election in Pakistan is purely a sham election”

As elections in Pakistan get underway, several security experts feel that this is a sham election where the Army continues to call the shots and one of the largest political parties the PTI has most of its leadership in jail.
Defence expert Brigadier (Retd) Anil Gupta has termed the elections in Pakistan “purely a sham” and stressed that Pakistan Army wants to bring back Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif. He said that Pakistan army is once again trying to mainstream terrorist organisations.
“This election in Pakistan is a purely a sham election. The Pakistan army of late has got used to governing Pakistan through remote control. So that if things go wrong, they can blame the civil administration. They already made up their mind. They want to bring in Nawaz Sharif. All this is being done, this exercise in futility is being done to bring back Nawaz Sharif. They have ensured that there is no opposition” Brigadier Gupta (Retd) said.
“Imran Khan and his party are already decimated. Imran Khan is in jail. All important leaders of his party are in jail. Hence, it’s a foregone conclusion that the next Prime Minister of Pakistan is going to be Nawaz Sharif, who is having the blessings of the Pakistan Army. But one thing more dangerous in this election is that Pakistan is once again trying, the army is once again trying to mainstream the terrorist organizations there,” he added.
More than 17,000 candidates will be contesting today’s elections in Pakistan, Dawn reported. Voters will elect 266 candidates to the Pakistan National Assembly, who will later, by a majority vote, elect the next PM. Simultaneously, voters will also elect representatives to their respective provincial assemblies, who will then elect the provincial chief executives under a similar process.
Former High Commissioner of India To Pakistan, Ajay Bisaria believes that the elections are rigged and the outcome predictable.
“From all accounts, these elections on 8th February are not just the most predictable, but also the most rigged, because it’s clear for everyone in Pakistan if you see the commentary that is coming from within the country, that the election results are clear, the army in various ways is doing pre-election engineering, it will probably do some election engineering and post-election engineering to get a government that it wants in place. It is said that it will possibly be a selection of Nawaz Sharif and his PMLN party, I think that is a widespread expectation, and that’s fairly accurate” Bisaria said.
Defence Expert Qamar Agha also said that with the relations between the Army and the Sharifs having improved everything was pre-decided.
“The result of these elections is pre-decided, right from who will be the Prime Minister to how many seats will each party win. If you see there are 2 main candidates, former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Bilawal Bhutto. On one hand, Nawaz Sharif is trying to emerge as the single largest party, but if he forms a government in coalition, then he might promote his daughter Maryam as Prime Minister. Nawaz Sharif’s relations with the Pakistan Army have improved, his family has been rehabilitated, and he has been forgiven for his crimes. Violence is regularly going on in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan. Even if the army manages these elections, running the government will be a very difficult task seeing the serious economic crisis and political instability in the country.” Agha said.
Speaking on the attacks happening during the election process, Defence Expert Sushant Sareen said, “There was an apprehension that there will be these kind of attacks on the electoral process. In fact, the attacks have been happening for over a week now. And there was an attack on a police station. Over a dozen policemen were killed. There have been a number of other attacks at smaller levels against candidates in Balochistan. It’s particularly bad. because both in the Baloch areas as well as the Pashtun areas, there’s a lot of resistance to Pakistan out there, and people don’t identify themselves with the elections. So, I think there is this wave of violence which has taken over.”
He noted that there have been smaller attacks that have escaped the attention of many people on candidates on their offices and others. He said that there is some speculation about whether these attacks were being done as “false flag attacks” by the Pakistani army. He said that some of these attacks will ensure that voting is low and it allows the military to ensure that voting oes the way they want it to go.
“There have been smaller attacks, which have escaped the attention of many people on candidates, on their offices, and others. There is some speculation whether these attacks were being done as false flag attacks by the Pakistan army because there was some speculation that they might not want elections to go ahead in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan. So you carry out an election in Sindh and Punjab and then delay the elections in the other two provinces where at least in KP, there was an apprehension that Imran Khan’s party or his candidate might do much better and then create a problem out there” Sareen said.
“But, I think over the last couple of days, the military seems to have been convinced that they’ve managed to get a hold over the situation. And some of these attacks will ensure that the turnout at polling stations is low, which means that it kind of allows the military to ensure that voting goes the way they want it to go and their favorites and the people they are backing can actually win these elections. And I say win in inverted commas. So I think that is what is happening. It’s unfortunate that there have been so many lives lost. There’s been so much of violence. But, this was expected anyways,” he added.
At least 26 people have been killed, and several others injured after two back-to-back blasts jolted Balochistan on Wednesday, as reported by Dawn.

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