Supporters of former Pakistani Prime Minister and head of the Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N), Nawaz Sharif, carry portraits of Sharif as they celebrate the victory of their party a day after landmark general elections, in Lahore, yesterday.
By AZMAT HAROON
DOHA: Election results in Pakistan have not surprised many Pakistanis in Qatar as no political party is expected to garner absolute majority on its own.
What has, though, come as a surprise for the Pakistani diaspora here is the emergence on the country’s political scene of former cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan, with his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party as the second largest grouping after Nawaz Sharif-led Pakistan Muslim League-N.
Supporters of Khan and his party in Qatar, mostly young men and women, though, are not in favour of PTI entering into any coalition with PML-N which, according to most of them, remains tainted with allegations of corruption even if it has won the election.
Many Pakistanis The Peninsula spoke to yesterday expressed concerns over rallies in Karachi and Lahore last evening in protest against alleged rigging in the aftermath of unofficial results. Pakistanis here were glued to their TV screens and following updates on social media channels.
They have been very active politically since Qatar chapters of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and PML-N were formed years ago.
Many said they had ‘faith’ in Sharif because he had ‘matured politically’ as he had been through different stages of the development of politics in Pakistan.
“The PML-N leadership seems credible because we have seen many successful development projects in Punjab. It subsidised food items, introduced E-system in the schooling system and motorway and road projects make it easier for us to trust them,” said a commentator.
On Sharif’s victory, another commentator said PML-N had continuously worked for Pakistan’s development, especially in rural areas. Interestingly, PPP, which led the outgoing coalition, was defeated in the election.
However, a large majority of youngsters here were rooting for Khan and many had sent funds for his party.
“Many Pakistani youngsters here, irrespective of their ethnicity, supported Khan and collected large amounts for PTI,” Jassim Khan said, adding he was disheartened.
He said many youngsters believed political parties had failed to eliminate corruption and shown they were incapable of resolving the security crisis. “Only a new leadership can solve Pakistan’s problems,” he added.However, the election that marked the first democratic transition between civilian governments in Pakistan’s history took an objectionable turn yesterday when videos of rigging at several polling stations went viral.
Javed Rahim Khan had reservations on Khan’s success in the Khyber Pakhtoon Khwa province where his party won a majority. Its election manifesto called for an end to drone strikes and corruption and restoration of law and order.