Hope and fear in Pakistan. An historic election day and high stakes all over. We go there.
After 66 years as a nation, Pakistan appears to have pulled off its first democratic transition between governments over the weekend. It was a long time coming, with all the coups and collapses. It was a bloody run-up to the Saturday vote, with the Taliban wreaking havoc and more than 150 killed. And there are still charges of vote-rigging.
But conservative Nawaz Sharif is forming a new government. He’s got plenty to do, with power outages and division all over. And he’s lined up to be the man at the top as the US draws down in Afghanistan.
This hour, On Point: Pakistan’s big vote.
– Tom Ashbrook
Adil Najam, vice chancellor of the Lahore University of Management Sciences. (@adilnajam)
Ahmed Rashid, journalist and author based in Lahore. Author of “Pakistan on the Brink: The Future of America, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.”
From Tom’s Reading List
BBC News: Pakistan Election: Nawaz Sharif set for victory — “Projections based on partial results suggest a big lead for Mr Sharif’s Muslim League (PML-N) party. Saturday’s election saw a large turnout and should pave the way for the country’s first transition from one elected government to another.”
CNN: Despite violence, Pakistanis vote in landmark election — “Polls closed in Pakistan Saturday, after a day of voting in which bursts of deadly violence aimed at polling stations failed to deter Pakistanis keen to have their say in landmark national and provincial elections. Voter turnout was nearly 60%, the chief election commissioner said early Sunday.”
The Economist: Third time lucky? — “Through the night in Lahore, and early in the morning of May 12th, cars raced, honked and revved their engines, young men sprawled out of windows to wave flags and mobs of happy Punjabis shouted: “Lion!”, the party symbol of their successful leader. Their cheerfulness was understandable. Lahore is home to Nawaz Sharif, a two-time prime minister in Pakistan now set for a record third stint.”