In Pakistan, Tehreek-e-Insaf, the opposition party of jailed former Prime Minister Imran Khan, has declared itself the winner of the parliamentary elections. Meanwhile, the Pakistan Muslim League, the party of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, also claimed victory. However, two days after the elections, Pakistan faces a difficult government formation as Sharif failed to secure a majority with his party and would have to make do with only 71 seats in parliament with 95 percent of the constituencies counted.
The independent candidates, most of whom are believed to have ties to Imran Khan and Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), surprisingly won 100 of the 266 seats. However, this did not stop Sharif’s PML-N from starting coalition talks with the third-placed popular party PPP led by Bilawal Bhutto Zardar, with a view to forming a government. Perhaps Sharif will try to court possible defectors among the independent candidates and thus find a majority or an alliance with a small party is also a possibility.
Pakistan’s elections were overshadowed by violence and a suspension of mobile and internet services. According to activists, this prevented some people from casting their votes. The country is currently in a deep economic crisis with massive inflation. Since Pakistan was founded more than 75 years ago, there has been repeated unrest and instability in the country, which lies between India and Afghanistan. The military has ruled for more than half of that time. Even under civilian governments, the powerful military was seen as the force that could determine the success or failure of political leadership.
Pakistani army chief Asim Munir urged political leaders to transcend their own interests and serve the people. According to Munir, it is important that