Pakistan elections

Nov 2014
1,492
Birmingham, UK
#1
Can any of our colleagues in the subcontinent shed any light on what is going on this year?

Imran Khan's political career has seemingly progressed since the last time i read about it, where it seemed he might be on the sidelines forever.

what has he done to make himself/his party more competitive? what concessions has he made, and to which vote banks? is his party likely to be the largest, but not with a clear majority? with whom would he form a coalition if he were to attempt that?
 
Jul 2016
8,144
USA
#2
My buddy is Pakistani and he filled me in as this has been a very crazy election. I don't have specifics in terms of names so this will be a very broad, generalized, and likely incorrect telling of the story.

Long story short is that care taker govt launched a counter coup after a very corrupt political family tried to start a rebellion using social media in order to win back political office and power. Lots of people arrested, including members of that family, and people who traditionally interfere with elections (intimidation at voting centers).
 
Nov 2014
1,492
Birmingham, UK
#3
My buddy is Pakistani and he filled me in as this has been a very crazy election. I don't have specifics in terms of names so this will be a very broad, generalized, and likely incorrect telling of the story.

Long story short is that care taker govt launched a counter coup after a very corrupt political family tried to start a rebellion using social media in order to win back political office and power. Lots of people arrested, including members of that family, and people who traditionally interfere with elections (intimidation at voting centers).
The Sharifs?
 
Jul 2016
8,144
USA
#4
Yeah. They were allied with Zardari and are equally corrupt, at least what my buddy tells me. One of the sons was trying to run for office and was coming from the UK, he and other family members were trying to rally followers to meet them at the airport to basically take over the govt, but it seems the care taker govt planned a counter coup and arrested everyone, including the Sharifs at the airport and a bunch of their key supporters, tossing them all into real jail (not the nice kind).
 
Nov 2014
1,492
Birmingham, UK
#5
Yeah. They were allied with Zardari and are equally corrupt, at least what my buddy tells me. One of the sons was trying to run for office and was coming from the UK, he and other family members were trying to rally followers to meet them at the airport to basically take over the govt, but it seems the care taker govt planned a counter coup and arrested everyone, including the Sharifs at the airport and a bunch of their key supporters, tossing them all into real jail (not the nice kind).
Good. The Sharifs and Zardari are poison.

I'd be fascinated to see the vote-banks Imran Khan has mobilised, and indeed what Faustian pacts he has made to get them
 
Jul 2016
8,144
USA
#6
Good. The Sharifs and Zardari are poison.

I'd be fascinated to see the vote-banks Imran Khan has mobilised, and indeed what Faustian pacts he has made to get them
My buddy thinks Khan is a rockstar. He's goes hard after corruption, then there was some scandal with one of his new wives that he found out was crooked so he divorced her, which won him a lot of points for honesty. He's apparently straight as an arrow. Plus I think a lot of people hate Zardari and the Sharifs, who are blatantly corrupt and power mad.
 
Nov 2014
1,492
Birmingham, UK
#7
My buddy thinks Khan is a rockstar. He's goes hard after corruption, then there was some scandal with one of his new wives that he found out was crooked so he divorced her, which won him a lot of points for honesty. He's apparently straight as an arrow. Plus I think a lot of people hate Zardari and the Sharifs, who are blatantly corrupt and power mad.
you know that as probably the biggest Pakistani cricket star ever, he's like a Pakistani Babe Ruth, right?

his political career has been interesting. given his star status it has taken a long time to really take off, which I think is largely a testament to the inbuilt nature of cronyism and the permanency of the vote-bank and landlord/politician culture in Pakistan.

i know he has always spoken out against corruption but you get to a point with Pakistani politics where you start to assume no success is possible without wide-scale corruption, which is why I'd so love to know exactly what sections of the vote he has managed to capture, and how. if he's really managed to make serious headway without dirtying his hands, I wonder if he might change the game a little bit.

i also wonder if due to his popularity as a person he may even be assassination-proof.
 

Shaheen

Ad Honorem
May 2011
2,500
Sweden
#8
There are several reasons why Khan has been successful:

1) Using social media to mobilise the urban youth. He hosts huge rallies where young people come out in large numbers. Famous celebrities and musicians also make a presence at these rallies. He also possesses an almost rock star status amongst the youth (he was a notorious playboy in his young days when he captained the Pakistan cricket team to become World Cup champions in 1992). Since entering politics he has tried to change his image but he is still remarkably fit compared to his peers with big bellies and double cheeks. This endears him to the youth and to some ladies. Women in Pakistan for example do not usually go to political rallies in large numbers but PTI (Khan's party) rallies are a different case. Example of a PTI rally below





2) His political rivals have all had stints in power and failed to improve governance. The previous political party in power was the Nawaz Sharif led Muslim League. Before him it was the Zardari (aka Mr 10%) led Pakistan People's Party. The public's expectations were not met by these two previous governments leaving Khan as the only potential option who had not been tried yet. Also Zardari and Sharif are members of political dynasties which is a common theme in regional politics (see Gandhi family in India for example). The fast growing urban youth population despise the nepotism that comes along with the presence of these dynasties.

3) Good track record in provinces where he managed to get into power in the last election. Khan's PTI won the vote in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in 2013, and since then has worked to improve institutional accountability. Several key party members have been sacked for corruption and police independence from the state has also improved. Another landmark project is the "billion tree tsunami" which seeks to reverse the trend of deforestation in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The initiative has been appreciated at home and abroad (https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2018/07/pakistan-s-billion-tree-tsunami-is-astonishing/).

4) Khan's ethnicity may also be a helping factor since he hails from a part of Punjab province which has an ethnic Pashtun background (Mianwali district lies on the border of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa). In this way both Punjabis and Pakhtuns see him as one of "theirs" although Khan himself stays well away from ethnic-driven politics and always seeks to unite the different ethnic groups in the country. Still its fair to say some voters will have been swayed by his background.
 
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Nov 2014
1,492
Birmingham, UK
#10
There are several reasons why Khan has been successful:

1) Using social media to mobilise the urban youth. He hosts huge rallies where young people come out in large numbers. Famous celebrities and musicians also make a presence at these rallies. He also possesses an almost rock star status amongst the youth (he was a notorious playboy in his young days when he captained the Pakistan cricket team to become World Cup champions in 1992). Since entering politics he has tried to change his image but he is still remarkably fit compared to his peers with big bellies and double cheeks. This endears him to the youth and to some ladies. Women in Pakistan for example do not usually go to political rallies in large numbers but PTI (Khan's party) rallies are a different case. Example of a PTI rally below





2) His political rivals have all had stints in power and failed to improve governance. The previous political party in power was the Nawaz Sharif led Muslim League. Before him it was the Zardari (aka Mr 10%) led Pakistan People's Party. The public's expectations were not met by these two previous governments leaving Khan as the only potential option who had not been tried yet. Also Zardari and Sharif are members of political dynasties which is a common theme in regional politics (see Gandhi family in India for example). The fast growing urban youth population despise the nepotism that comes along with the presence of these dynasties.

3) Good track record in provinces where he managed to get into power in the last election. Khan's PTI won the vote in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in 2013, and since then has worked to improve institutional accountability. Several key party members have been sacked for corruption and police independence from the state has also improved. Another landmark project is the "billion tree tsunami" which seeks to reverse the trend of deforestation in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The initiative has been appreciated at home and abroad (https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2018/07/pakistan-s-billion-tree-tsunami-is-astonishing/).

4) Khan's ethnicity may also be a helping factor since he hails from a part of Punjab province which has an ethnic Pashtun background (Mianwali district lies on the border of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa). In this way both Punjabis and Pakhtuns see him as one of "theirs" although Khan himself stays well away from ethnic-driven politics and always seeks to unite the different ethnic groups in the country. Still its fair to say some voters will have been swayed by his background.

nice background, thanks.

considering he seems to have attempted to appeal on a cross-party basis, to almost attempt to transcend 'vote-banks' and so forth, would you say he has been successful? IE has he managed to woo Mohajir voters away from MQM, or pious Muslims from PML-N, or voters whose priority is social justice from AWP, and so on?

He also possesses an almost rock star status amongst the youth (he was a notorious playboy in his young days when he captained the Pakistan cricket team to become World Cup champions in 1992). Since entering politics he has tried to change his image but he is still remarkably fit compared to his peers with big bellies and double cheeks. This endears him to the youth

:) yeah, he always was a good-looking, charming dude.