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Kingmakers in Pakistan: The Unveiling of the Fourth Round – Nawaz Sharif vs. Zardari

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Navigating the Political Landscape: Pakistan’s Upcoming Elections

In a matter of 48 hours, Pakistan is set to witness crucial elections, capturing global attention amid uncertainties surrounding key political figures like Nawaz Sharif and Bilawal Bhutto. While the world gears up for substantial voter participation in 2024, all eyes are on Pakistan, grappling with political intricacies. The questions loom large: Will Nawaz Sharif make a comeback as Prime Minister? With Imran Khan in jail, his political scope seems limited. Meanwhile, Bilawal Bhutto, a prominent contender, is vigorously testing the electoral waters.

The Key Players

 Nawaz Sharif’s Political Resurgence

Political pundits in Pakistan predict a potential coalition government led by Nawaz Sharif’s party, PML-N. Even before the elections, a deal seems to have been struck with the military, indicating a collaborative approach. The military expresses its interest in investing through a system led by Muslim-friendly nations, portraying a complex political landscape.

  Nawaz Sharif’s Triumph

If Nawaz Sharif secures a majority, he could become Pakistan’s Deputy Prime Minister. The military’s influence on him increases the likelihood of his victory, though a landslide remains uncertain. Notably, prominent independent candidates could pose a formidable challenge.

 Asif Ali Zardari’s Bid

Asif Ali Zardari, a significant contender, may play a strategic game post-elections. With Imran Khan’s party contesting without a symbol, independent candidates seem to have higher chances. If a coalition becomes necessary, Nawaz Sharif may elevate his brother to a prominent role.

 Imran Khan’s Party Challenge

Imran Khan’s party faces a unique challenge as they lack an electoral symbol. Contesting independently may diminish the miraculous prospects they had in the past, especially given the discontent within the military ranks.

Analyzing the Religious Demographics

With a population of 240 million, Pakistan is the world’s fifth most populous country. Approximately 60% of the population, accounting for 144 million voters, is literate. The majority comprises 96% Muslims, followed by around 2% Hindus and 1.59% Christians. The Hindu community, in particular, alleges a lack of fair representation, as they are often denied tickets for candidacy.

The Unconventional Entry: Hafiz Saeed’s Influence

In an unexpected turn, Hafiz Saeed, accused in the Mumbai attacks, is associated with the newly formed ‘Pakistan Markazi Muslim League.’ Several candidates from this party share familial ties with Saeed or have connections with extremist groups, raising concerns about their political influence.

Economic Woes and Election Dynamics

A significant election issue revolves around economic challenges, with the Pakistani currency struggling, and foreign reserves dwindling. The voters are keenly observing how political leaders address these concerns, making economic revival a crucial aspect of the campaigns.

As Pakistan braces for elections, the political scenario remains uncertain, with various possibilities shaping the future government. The intricate dynamics involving Nawaz Sharif, Bilawal Bhutto, and the military create a complex narrative. The outcome will undoubtedly have a profound impact on the nation’s trajectory.