Pakistan has hailed the return of the ‘tiger,’ symbol of three-time Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, as early election results indicate a win for the Pakistan Muslim League party (PML-N). He has already begun talks to form a government though the final ballots are yet to be counted.
Toppled 14 years ago in a military coup, Sharif has made an extraordinary comeback in the historic vote but a herculean task awaits.
Political Analyst Imtiaz Gul commented on the challenges that lie ahead.
“Revival of the economy, because the economy is
driving people into frustration. There is massive
unemployment, production is slow but at the same
time he also faces a big challenge of religious
extremism inside the country,” said Gul.
Fans of former cricket star Imran Khan’s party were disappointed that the predicted tsunami of support did not materialise. The man himself took a more philosophical approach.
“On the whole, I think that the foundation of a genuine democratic system has been laid in Pakistan. There were many positives from this election. As I said, most of all, the participation of youth and women. This was unprecedented: highest turnout. And today, I feel more optimistic than ever before,” said Khan.
Though most commended the democratic vote, accusations of widespread vote irregularities in Karachi have led to many polling station results being invalidated. The final count is expected on Monday.