POLLS ARE CLOSED ..
TURNOUT BETWEEN 50 AND 55% ..
AFTER 20% VOTE COUNTED UNOFFICIAL RESULTS SUGGEST IMRAN KHAN’S PTI ARE AHEAD …
WIDESPREAD VOTER FRAUD AND VIOLENCE AT POLLING STATIONS ..
HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION OF PAKISTAN SAY THERE’S BEEN A BLATANT ATTEMPT TO MANIPULATE THE OUTCOME ..
NATIONAL ACCOUNTABILITY BUREAU SENTENCED NAWAZ SHARIF TEN YEARS FOR OWNING ASSETS BEYOND INCOME AND ANOTHER YEAR FOR NOT COOPERATING WITH THE INVESTIGATION SPARKED BY REVELATIONS IN THE PANAMA PAPERS .. HIS DAUGHTER MARYAM RECEIVED SEVEN YEARS FOR AIDING AND ABETTING AND ANOTHER YEAR FOR NOT COOPERATING .. HIS SON IN LAW SAFDOUR RECEIVED ONE YEAR .. NAWAZ SHARIF WHO IS IN LONDON SAYS THE CHARGES ARE POLITICALLY MOTIVATED .. THE DEPOSED PM HAS NOW RETURNED TO PAKISTAN IN TIME FOR THE COUNTRY’S NATIONAL ELECTIONS ON JULY 25 .. HE WAS ARRESTED ON HIS ARRIVAL .. OBSERVERS SAY THE ARMY IS TRYING TO ENSURE IMRAN KHAN’S ELECTION WIN ..
ISLAMABAD – Pakistan’s Muslim League – Nawaz have announced an interim PM after the country’s top court ruled Nawaz Sharif was not fit to govern because he hadn’t disclosed his earnings from a DUBAI based company in his nomation papers for the 2013 general election.
The court judges also recommended anti corruption investigations into Sharif, his daughter Maryam, her husband and finance minister Ishaq Dar and others.
The dealings of the DUBAI company are not part of the Panama Papers leaks. Last year’s revelations that Sharif’s children maintained off shore companies and owned expensive London properties were seized upon by Sharif’s opponents, including struggling politician IMRAN Khan who filed the complaint to Pakistan’s Supreme Court. The former cricketer conveniently forgot members of his own Tehreek-e-Insaf party are also named in the leaks.
Sharif who had won in a landside in 2013 and would have been the first PM to complete a full term in Pakistan’s history resigned after the ruling.
Pakistan’s Muslim League – Nawaz are expected to win in next year’s general election. They have been widely credited with steering the country into a period of relative economic prosperity with growth currently standing at 5.7%. There’s also been a steep decline in terror attacks inside Pakistan.
The ruling came as a shock to many Pakistanis with observers blaming the army for once again interfering in the country’s political process.
Shahid Abbasi will take over his role with Sharif’s brother Shabaz, 65, who is currently governor of Punjab, expected to stand next August, although he will have to win the party’s backing.
ANALYSIS – When Nawaz Sharif won Pakistan’s general election last year to become Prime minister he did so on a landslide, the extent of which surprised everyone, friend and foe alike.
Observers noted the smooth transition, the first time in this young nation’s history, as well as the lack of irregularities in the voting process – all of which pointed to a future where democracy could flourish in a country plagued by military rule.
So, it is very disappointing to see all that being thrown into doubt by two foolish men, both of whom spent time in democracies themselves but who clearly don’t think that the people of Pakistan deserve the chance to choose who should make the decisions that affect their lives.
One studied at Oxford and was a great captain of the nation’s cricket side, the other a religious cleric who appeared out of nowhere last year after living in Canada.
Both are driven by a sense of a messianic mission that afflicts so many Pakistanis – heaven help the land of the pure should either of these clowns ever make it to the office of Prime minister.
There have been fears that the army could step in – some thing that appears unlikely given how strong the elected PM’s democratic mandate is, and given also the size of the US loan that will be lost should they engage in anything as rash as a coup d’etat.
And should they do so, Pakistan will follow the Arab world in becoming a laughing stock – something that even the coup prone military is keen to avoid.
Some fourteen years after being ousted in a military coup, self-made businessman Nawaz Sharif has secured a resounding election victory to become Pakistan’s Prime Minister once again.
The world that the steel magnate returns to is of course a very different one to the one he left in 1999, when General Pervez Musharraf seized power in a coup d’etat.
Today’s Pakistan’s economy has felt the full force of the recession that has hammered the rest of the world. The rupee has been devalued to such an extent that the days when you could say ’20 rupees make one British pound’ appear to be some distant fantasy.
The people of Pakistan are still living in a third world country where running water is a luxury for most, as is the idea of getting fed.
There is no welfare system to speak or adequate hospitals either.
All the while, some of the poorest people on earth have had to endure almost daily drone strikes in Pakistan’s so-called tribal areas, and the well-heeled urban elite have learned to stay at home as terrorists strike in the country’s main cities.
Despite all this. the people of Pakistan turned up in large numbers – turnout was reported to have been 60 per cent – to put their faith in this man.
Let’s hope he doesn’t let them down.