The lion’s roar is yet to come!

   By Vijay Darda | 19-02-2024

Nawaz failed to secure a majority in Pakistan’s general elections despite army’s questionable actions

I have not come across any other instance in the democratic history of the world when a candidate has relinquished the seat after his victory saying that rigging was done to make him win! However, this extraordinary development took place in Pakistan. The Pakistan Election Commission officially declared Jamiat-e-Islami’s Hafiz Naeem ur Rehman the winner but the latter revealed that his victory was tainted by rigging. Rehman claims that he got only 26,000 votes whereas independent candidate Saif Bari, contesting the elections with the support of Imran Khan’s party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, garnered 31,000 votes. Shockingly, thanks to alleged rigging, Saif Bari was shown to have lost, having received only 11,000 votes! “I don’t want such a victory at all,” Rehman said.

The allegations made by Rehman have been dismissed by the Pakistan Election Commission. However, these allegations have sparked widespread discussions throughout the country. People are saying that the Election Commission, controlled by ISI and the army, has committed many such acts! Despite such rigging, people from Imran’s party have secured the maximum number of seats as independent candidates, indicating that the roar of the caged lion named Imran Khan is resonating in Pakistan.

I am well acquainted with the nature and inclinations of Imran Khan. I met him even when he was a player and had many conversations when he joined politics. The desire to take Pakistan forward inspired him to enter politics, otherwise personally he was living a happy life. Just as the youths, industry and common people rallied behind Narendra Modi in the 2014 Indian elections, a similar wave of support emerged for Imran in Pakistan in 2018, particularly from the youths. Imran has established a top-notch hospital in Pakistan in the honour of his mother where free treatment for cancer and other ailments is provided. Additionally, he has constructed numerous schools and colleges, aiming to establish institutions that would gain global recognition and generate employment opportunities for everyone. Imran desired India’s assistance and his supporters still assert that India is yet to comprehend Imran’s political stance!

At first, the army and ISI felt that Imran would become a puppet in their hands, but as Imran’s popularity grew, both became angry. Imran sought to maintain an equal relationship with America, while China tried to manipulate him. Tehreek-e-Taliban wanted Imran to align with them, but he refused. Consequently, a plot was devised to imprison him, leading to Nawaz Sharif and Bhutto teaming up to remove him from power. Nawaz’s brother Shahbaz became prime minister. Nawaz, convicted in various cases, had to go to jail but he was eventually acquitted, while Imran Khan found himself in jail by August 2022!

Before the elections, he was sentenced to 31 years of imprisonment in various cases, but the army was seriously worried about the lion’s roar. That is why Imran’s party PTI was disqualified from contesting the elections. Even the election symbol ‘bat’ was freezed. Even if any person has indeed committed a crime, how could the entire party be disqualified? But ISI and the army took this step because Imran had raised public awareness. Dictators fear such challenges. Imran became a casualty of this.

However, Imran has always been known as a fierce competitor, never one to accept defeat easily. He has been an attacking bowler and batsman and has no habit of sitting quietly until the wicket is taken or the ball crosses the boundary. His aggressive approach is reflected in his political career as well. He made it clear to his supporters that this election was to be fought independently. Imran’s people were stopped from the election campaign. Many obstacles were created but the youths of Pakistan rallied behind Imran, determined to see him back in power. Despite all the rigging to make the defeated candidates victorious, everyone was stunned when the results came. 93 candidates supported by PTI have won in the 265-member National Assembly. However, he claims to have won much more than this. Nawaz’s party PML (N) could get only 75 seats and Bhutto’s PPP could get only 54 seats. Imran’s party will be deprived of 70 seats reserved for women and non-Muslims, so at present it does not seem possible for him to come to power. But the result of the awareness that Imran has created is that large-scale demonstrations are taking place in Pakistan at present. People want to see Imran in power but nothing can be done as our neighbour’s luck is bad. Who knows how long people will have to wait to get on the path of progress! May God protect the people there!

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