News Release

Myths of Pakistani Election


JUNAID AHMAD, junaidsahmad at
Ahmad is assistant professor at the University of Lahore in Pakistan, and Secretary-General of the International Movement for a Just World. See Ahmed’s interviews on The Real News.
He said today: “With more than 100 million eligible voters, Pakistan is witnessing one of its most highly contested elections ever. And democratic elections are important here, since half the country’s history has been under military rule.

“The cricketer-turned politician [Imran Khan] and his political party, PTI (‘The Movement for Justice’) stand a good chance in putting a significant dent in the PML(N) dominated by the Sharif family and their single party dominance of the influential Punjab over the past few decades.

“In all of Western mainstream and even alternative media, there’s the simplistic and erroneous narrative advanced that claims Khan is just riding on the coattails of the military. It actually may be the reverse, i.e. the military is exploiting the popular political campaign of Khan.

“But the Western political establishment, along with the rulers in New Delhi and Riyadh, love who they deem (not without merit) their businessman puppet-partner Nawaz Sharif — now jailed in Pakistan for being implicated in gross corruption. The Western press couldn’t seem to help itself in regurgitating nonstop this past week how this is the ‘dirtiest election’ ever in Pakistan’s history. In fact, it’s deemed so ‘dirty’ because the wrong guy, i.e. Khan, who has taken forceful positions against Pakistan’s involvement in the U.S./NATO ‘war on terror,’ stands a chance of winning or at least having his party gain enormously.

“However, defeating PML(N)’s stranglehold over the political life of Pakistan’s most influential and populous province, the Punjab, is certainly a Herculean task for Khan and his PTI.

“The other political parties, including secular ones like the PPP or ANP, as well as some religious parties, may become more significant in the context of a hung parliament where coalitions will be necessary.”