Elections 2013: A bomb about to explode, or be delayed?

Published: January 3, 2013

The upcoming election process may turn the country into a battleground and law enforcement authorities may find the situation extremely difficult to control.

The assassination of prominent politician Bashir Bilour has sounded a serious alarm bell for the upcoming elections in Pakistan.

Many theories are circulating all over the media suggesting that the present intense political turmoil, ethnic killings, bomb blasts in Balochistan, sectarian violence, target killings in Karachi and ongoing acts of terrorism will be enough cause for the powers-that-be to delay the elections.

Political disagreement among the regional and national political parties are expected to tot up additional justification to delay the elections for an indefinite period of time soon after the establishment of an interim government.

But what other option is there?

• We can safely assume that the election process will provide ample opportunities for terrorist groups to destabilise Pakistan. 

• We may very likely see more prominent political personalities assassinated.

• The Taliban and al Qaeda affiliated groups seem to have strong support in the northwest of Pakistan. They are capable of carrying out attacks against the ruling Awami National Party (ANP) in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

• Extremist religio-political parties will likely worsen the situation during the election process  by pushing their own demands, including the promotion of extreme religious thought, promulgation of Shariah law, an end to drone attacks, power sharing and promotion of religious militancy in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

• The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) may boycott the upcoming election on issues relating to the delimitation of constituencies in Karachi.

• The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) is believed to have raised the Seraikistan issue during elections in south Punjab for political point scoring. This will further escalate ethnic tension between Seraiki and Punjabi, and of course is likely to result in political unrest in the province.

And this is just the tip of a very large iceberg of turmoil. The upcoming elections may turn the country into a battleground, and law enforcement authorities may find the situation extremely difficult to control.

Despite the likely scenario above, all major regional and national political parties have condemned the postponement of elections. They demand the government immediately announce an election date and have warned the government of civil war if elections are delayed.

There is only one question to ponder now – will the grim reality of a destabilised Pakistan battling to carry out the elections be our future, or will we see the elections delayed in favour of short-term stability with an interim government?

muhammad.younas

Muhammad Younas

A human rights activist and freelance UK based journalist.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Parvez

    Amateurish at best.Recommend

  • Sane

    Agenda of Tahir ul Qadri. Create uncertainty & chaos and on this behest postpone elections.Recommend