Clear trends

The General Election was held on 25th July, and with some notable and in the case of Quetta murderous exceptions, the whole thing passed off relatively peacefully. It is, therefore, entirely unacceptable at every level that there is still no final figure for winners of seats at the federal level, and there is some way to go before a final tally provincially. There are clear trends, with the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) upsetting apple carts far and wide and the presumptive next party of governance, with Imran Khan as the prime minister. Despite the faux outrage, there have been no credible allegations of rigging, no evidence presented that stands scrutiny, and the strident allegations of rigging by the losers smack more of sour grapes than anything else.

The results of this election are going to be pored over for years by analysts, with the results in Sindh giving them much to ponder. Elsewhere in the country, the electorate was ruthless, casting aside the old guard, but in Sindh, ruled by the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) for a decade, the corruption and poor governance seem not to have made the electorate PPP-averse and they have been re-elected across the province though with slim majorities in a number of instances. This appears counter-intuitive given the list of items in the PPP debit column, but it held the PTI to second place overall and between the two of them the MQM-P is reduced now to a shadow of its former self having outlived its usefulness.

At the time of writing, the PPP has 74-75 seats in the Sindh assembly, an unassailable position and it will rule from a position of considerable strength with the PTI in all likelihood forming the opposition replacing the MQM-P that had long held the role. What this is likely to mean for the voters of Sindh is that they are going to get more of the same. The same corruption, the same incompetent governance, the same politicised police force and the same craven bureaucracy that kowtows to its political masters. As the saying goes — be careful what you wish for. Good luck, Sindh.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 28th, 2018.

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