Sunday, February 17, 2008

Pakistani Elections

Its the big day. Finally Pakistani's will go to the polls. If they had been held a year ago the results would have been predictable - a reasonably good showing for the the king's party - PML-Q. But if Musharraf has shown one thing it is his inability to look more than two steps ahead. Rather than take the opportunity then to call elections he waited and whatever good will he had accumulated slowly leaked away. There was the Chief Justice fiasco, the Lal Masjid fiasco, the movement of Jihadi's into Swat, and now the increasing food prices and lines for wheat. Of all of the reasons the last in some ways is the most important. In this one year Musharraf has become perhaps even more despised than Asif Zardari, the widower of Benazir, and that takes some doing. The polls all seem to point to a rout of the PML-Q - China Hand at American Footprints has been keeping on top of all the developments. But polls have never been very useful in Pakistan - maybe this time will be different. One can still make a few predictions though.

In Sind the thuggish MQM will win in Karachi and the PPP will take the rural areas.

The religious parties will lose their governments in the NWFP and Balochistan.

Punjab is going to be where, at least in the short term, the future of Pakistan will be decided.

The elections will be reasonably fair but the losing groups will claim otherwise.


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