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Graphic by Naseem ur Rehman

In about ten days from now, the current assemblies would be dissolved, a caretaker government put in place which, in turn, will announce the date of the next election. There is some confusion about the exact date and month of the elections, and like always, rumours abound that they will be delayed.

Short of any untoward happening, the pre-election posturing is on. Some see traces of ominous engineering at work, by the unelected forces trying to manipulate desired results. But this has been the bane of most elections in Pakistan. But there are clear signs of major defections in favour of the party that is destined to win in a particular province.

This so-called engineering began in the urban centres of Sindh sometime last year where the all powerful MQM stands fragmented, and other stakeholding parties, like PPP and PTI, stand to benefit a lot as a consequence.

In our Special Report today, we have tried to focus only on a few issues related to elections. One of these relates to allowing the overseas Pakistanis the right to vote. A lot was happening at the Supreme Court, NADRA and Election Commission of Pakistan to enable about more than 7 million Pakistanis to vote. This was also thought to be a part of pre-election planning to favour one particular party. But, owing to various factors, this has been put on hold for now.

Minorities in Pakistan also have a problem with their quota and manner of election and their demands are also a part of our report.

Another major demand, that now has a habit of raising its head before each general election, is about a separate South Punjab province. It has various shades and there is no clarity or consensus on what the ideal solution is. Yet, it has effected a big chunk of defections in the ruling party and it now remains for the next parliament to decide the fate of this new province.

Read also: Election in sight

As always, there are projections about the election results and like always they will all be proved wrong.


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