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Naya Pakistan

5 235 482

Elections produced winners and losers. Election 2018 did too. The PTI won across the country, emerging as a dominant federal party and the PML-N, PPP, MQM, ANP, MMA etc lost spectacularly.

The Election Commission bungled up terribly. The pre-election manoeuvring, together with post-poll irregularities, threatened to place the election’s credibility under a cloud. Almost all losing parties cried foul. Imran Khan did himself a great favour by not holding brief for those responsible for administering the election, and for supporting opposition’s demand for scrutiny.

It is hard to embrace failure, as it requires courage and grace to concede defeat. We haven’t seen much of that in Pakistan post-elections. This time is no different. While efforts to manage the national narrative in the run-up to Election 2018 are not a figment of disgruntled imagination, neither is the verdict of the electorate on July 25. After a contested election that produced no clean sweep, the PTI has garnered a convincing victory. The outcome is in sync with opinion polls just as it was in 2013 when the PTI lost and refused to accept the results.

Post-Panama, the Sharifs (and by association the PML-N) came to be labelled as corrupt. The conviction of NS and Maryam might be questionable in view of the reasoning of the judgments that condemned them and the quality of evidence they were based on. But for those who saw the Sharifs as corrupt and a cause of Pakistan’s various ills that was legalese. The Sharifs refused to explain their wealth and insisted that the prosecution failed to prove the case again them. That argument might work in a court of law. But it didn’t work in the peoples’ court.

The counter-argument that NS was thrown out because he fell out with the military resonated with the PML-N’s core support base (which is why the party won the seats that it did) but not with undecided swing voters. Going into Election 2018, the average voter with no........

© The News International