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Election In Pakistan

Hope and fear in Pakistan. An historic election day and high stakes all over.  We go there.

Supporters of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf or Moment for Justice party attend an election campaign rally in Islamabad, Pakistan, Thursday, May 9, 2013 (AP)

Supporters of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf or Moment for Justice party attend an election campaign rally in Islamabad, Pakistan, Thursday, May 9, 2013 (AP)

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


Rich Leiby, Pakistan bureau chief for the Washington Post. (@richleiby)

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.”

Stephen Cohen, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution researching South Asian political and security issues. Author of  “The Future of Pakistan.”

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.”

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  • donniethebrasco

    Since the supporting the Obama Administration is the op/ed policy and overall purpose of this radio station, we will argue that Bush and Reagan and Nixon did things that were worse.

    We won’t talk about what the Obama Administration has done, but use this as an opportunity to talk about the Iraq war, the Iran-Contra Arms dealing, and Watergate.

    • Acnestes

      “We”?  We refer to ourselves in the third person, do we?  My, we are full of ourselves, aren’t we?

      • http://twitter.com/Astraspider Ms. Spider

        We even reply to our own comments.

        • donniethebrasco

           You will be assimilated.

          Oh, wait, you have been assimilated.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          All I can think about when DTB does that is Foghorn Leghorn, a character who not only could carry on entire conversations without others, but was forever interrupting himself.

          • Ray in VT

            “That boy’s about as sharp as a bowling ball.” – F.J. Leghorn, esq.

    • donniethebrasco

       We can’t wait for the deification of Obama.

  • Shag_Wevera

    I don’t care in the least.  Know why?  When the election is over, Pakistan will still be a corrupt nuclear state with a military pre-disposed to the coup detat and a tradition of running the civilian government.  If elections matter little in America, they are REALLY a waste of time in Pakistan.

  • Jasoturner

    A peaceful transfer of power in Pakistan reflects real progress.  While that country faces (and creates) many challenges, at least it appears that the bulk of the citizens are willing and able to vote, even in the face of attempted intimidation.  Overall, I place this on the positive side of the ledger, even if there is much, much more that needs be done to establish fully representative government.

    • Don_B1

      Many consider that Pakistan has two governments: the civilian government that is up for election and the military, which has its own sources of income that largely puts it beyond the control of the civilian government.

      • Jasoturner

        That may well be.  The fact that the election occurred remains a positive.

        • Ray in VT

          Plus the fact that, whatever it’s problems or failures, the previous government actually made it through a term.  That’s something to build on.  One has to start somewhere.

          • Jasoturner

            Precisely so!  Sacrificing the adequate at the altar of perfection is a common rhetorical ploy that can obscure real progress.

          • Ray in VT

            Well said, my good man.

  • RolloMartins

    Who cares? The military has the run of the place. This is all window dressing.

  • donniethebrasco

     Election for future assassination target.

  • kivenaberham

    pervez musharraf was prop up by united states. to which he kill the president candidate in Afghanistan, and over throw pakistan’s own elected leader, so like general pinochet of chile, american history of intervention repeat it self. this on top of the fact that united states pour billions of American tax payer money to feed the junta that end up propping up the taliband. between the thermobaric/ cluster bombs and civilian death, the legacy we as American are a g•d D•m• joke. welcome to the new age of American’s pivot toward asia!

  • http://hammernews.com/ hammermann

    Actually, as a Paki-American pal says, Pervez Musharraf was the best leader America would ever have- smart, moderate, and pretty clean. His family was a friend of Musharraf’s. Sharrif was deeply involved in corruption and will be again. It was a “victory” for democracy like the election of the Muslim Brotherhood was in Egypt.

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