Imran Khan may still not be able to carry the day
Today this impression is being floated that PTI will surely win the coming elections. Argument goes that it enjoys overt as well as covert support of the establishment. However, as history tells us, many times it happens that the results are contrary to the intention and planning of the ruling classes.
Lessons from other countries of the region
When in our neighboring country, Sri Lanka, presidential elections were held in January 2015, the then president Mahinda Rajapaksa was so certain of his victory that he decided to go into elections two years ahead of the completion of his term. It was believed that no one could beat him. But the opposition fielded a joint candidate, Maithripala Sirisena. In spite of using all state resources, Rajapaksa couldn’t win and Sirisena carried the day.
In Malaysian elections, conducted on May 9, 2018, the then PM Najeeb Razaq was sure of his victory. He resorted to highhandedness. Opposition got united and 92-year-old Mahathir Muhammad won.
Imran Khan’s victory may not be on the cards
The establishment has left no stone unturned to buttress Imran Khan – his rivals complain every other day. But his victory is not sealed yet.
People are yet to give their verdict. Winds are beginning to blow against Imran. His jalsas are shrinking whereas PML-N and PPP are picking up gear. Extremist parties have been fielded. They may slice away a considerable chunk of votes but they themselves can’t win. Another pertinent question: Whose vote will they slice away? An extremist right-wing will dent right-wing nonetheless.
Extremist parties will dent but not necessarily the PML-N vote bank
In the last general elections, PPP did not campaign against PTI, thinking that the latter will dent PML-N vote. What actually happened is a different story. PTI sliced away PPP vote whereas PML-N augmented its vote bank.
Now the extremist parties will dent but not necessarily the PML-N vote bank.
Situation is quite complicated. Nothing can be said for sure. But it goes without saying that record pre-poll rigging is going on. The establishment has never backed up any party the way it is maneuvering the process for PTI victory. But why are they still unnerved?
The author is Spokesperson of Awami Workers Party and General Secretary of Pakistan Kissan Rabita Committee