Photo: IMAGO / ZUMA Wire
Photo: IMAGO / ZUMA Wire

State of Southasia #02: Ayesha Siddiqa on Pakistan’s stormy election and its message for the military

Political and military analyst Ayesha Siddiqa discusses the support for Imran Khan in Pakistan’s recent election, the formation of a new government under Shebaz Sharif and growing public disaffection with the military

On 9 March, Asif Ali Zardari of the Pakistan’s People’s Party (PPP) was elected as Pakistan’s 14th president – the only person ever to be elected as the country’s head of state for a second time. Earlier in the week, Shebaz Sharif of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) took oath as prime minister, also for the second time. An eight-party coalition headed by the PML-N with support from the PPP formed the new government, despite candidates from Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf winning the most number of seats in the 8 February election. The new government has been dubbed as “coalition of losers” by supporters of the PTI, who have alleged large-scale manipulation cutting into the party’s electoral gains.

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