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Thursday, July 26, 2018 11:52:01 PM
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Change is welcome for a new beginning in Pakistan

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Early results from Pakistan's election suggest ex-cricket star Imran Khan is on course to become Prime Minister. With nearly half the votes counted from Wednesday's election, Mr Khan's PTI party is in the lead. It is expected to fall short of an overall majority and to seek coalition partners. Officials deny claims of vote rigging made by Mr Khan's rivals.
On voting day a bomb killed 31 people at a polling station. With votes counted in 47% of stations, Mr Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) party was leading in 113 of the 272 National Assembly constituencies being contested, Pakistan's Dawn Newspaper reported, citing Election Commission figures.
This election will mark only the second time that a civilian government has handed power to another after serving a full term in Pakistan. But former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has rejected the results, as have a host of smaller parties, all alleging vote-rigging and manipulation. Independent media, meanwhile, say there have been blatant attempts to muzzle them, while the Human Rights Commission says there are ample rights to question the legitimacy of the polls.
For whatever reason the polls is yet another chapter of the Pakistan military's subtle and not so subtle attempts to influence the democratic process in Pakistan — one which began in 1958. All of its past involvements have led to failure—it tried to work with Bhutto's Pakistan People's Party in the 1960s, with Nawaz Sharif's Muslim League in the 1980s, and now with Imran Khan's Tehreek-e-Insaf.
But what happens to a country when a particular section of its powerful force continually meddles in it? Can one man change the tremendous levels of ineptitude and corruption all by himself?
For their own weakness of the political leaders the army in Pakistan has become as alleged the deciding factor in the elections for change of government. What should be disturbing is a political army is not good for army discipline. We can understand a political role for the army in a free country to save the democratic constitutional proceed, and not beyond. In that context protecting the people's Constitution should also be a concern of the national army. But to manipulate dishonestly election results cannot be the dignified role of the army of a free country.
But we do not know if the army really played any role to alter the election results. But the change was necessary for the good of the country. It is expected that Imran khan will offer the country an honest government. It is also desirable that he will be strong enough to save country from religious fanaticism.
The lesson for BNP is that the leader of Pakistan Muslim League Newaz Sharif came back to be in jail and be with the people during election time. But BNP is talking of boycotting the election if Begum Khaleda Zia is not freed. BNP has to be political to fight like a political party. But it is too much a family party of Begum Khaleda Zia and her son Tareque Rahman.

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