ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Pakistan Wins

The defeat of the military and the fundamentalists is unprecedented.

In an extraordinary election, threatened by the Taliban and riddled with violence, over 60% of the Pakistan electorate came out to vote to elect their government for the next five years. Not only was the voting percentage encouragingly high, given that only 48% voted in 2008, it also signifies a peaceful shift of civilian authority in a country where the military has never allowed democracy to run its course. It is perhaps difficult to explain the import of such a development, not just for Pakistan but for the entire region. Hopefully, this symbolises as well as further entrenches the spread of democracy in that country.

The mandate has made Nawaz Sharif, who was removed as prime minister of Pakistan on 12 October 1999, incarcerated and then exiled, prime minister for an unprecedented third time. On the other hand, Pervez Musharraf, who had deposed Sharif and taken over as Pakistan’s chief executive in 1999, is today in a Pakistani jail. When a civilian government took charge in the summer of 2008, few had expected it to last its full term; yet it survived five years of sustained onslaught by the military, and unfortunately, even the judiciary. What the feared and infamous Pakistani “establishment” could not do, the people of Pakistan have done with élan: deposed the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) from all seats of power!

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