Did Pakistan Vote for Status Quo?


Did Pakistanis Vote for

the Status Quo?

Omer Bin Abdullah

The American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences 30:3

Omer Bin Abdullah is the editor of Islamic Horizons and a long-time observer of Pakistan’s

sociopolitical scene. He has an M.A. in journalism from Syracuse University, New York. This

article does not represent the views of Islamic Horizons or the Islamic Society of North America



The latest – and possibly the last – period of military rule in Pakistan

ended in 2008, when elections were held under the thendictator

General Pervez Musharraf. The voting sprouted a

coalition government headed by the Pakistan Peoples Party that

ruled (or rather riled) the country for five excruciating years. The

ever-erring ruling group included the Pakistan Muslim League-

Nawaz, one of the many breakaway wings of the country’s

founding political movement.

The country has suffered ever since the Soviets invaded neighboring

Afghanistan, leading the United States and its allies to fund

the “mujahideen,” the tribal-based loosely organized Muslim

fighters from all over the world. After 9/11, President George W.

Bush’s attack on Afghanistan and hot pursuit of targets inside Pakistan,

not to mention the military dictator Musharraf’s wholesale

willingness to support the United States in all of its decisions, has

led to high levels of violence and instability.

The Pakistani political establishment has little to show for its efforts.

However, another development took root seventeen years ago.

Imran Khan, the internationally respected and loved sports heroturned-

philanthropist, realizing that acts of kindness alone would

not heal the country’s malaise, launched his own political party in

a quest for justice and equality in a society firmly controlled by the

feudal landed class created by the British to rule the Subcontinent.

After ignoring him for some fifteen years, despite his many sacrifices,

the nation finally heard him. But while his popularity boomed

in 2011, his attempt to empower the masses by bringing in “fresh

blood,” namely, young educated people, women, and even the poor

into the assemblies failed. The voters were, as many Pakistanis believe,

deprived of their choice, and thus the same exploitative feudal

class was returned to power. Khan has not fared too well, but at

class was returned to power. Khan has not fared too well, but at

least he has planted the seeds of inclusive participation. Whether

he can sustain it, however, remains to be seen.


Not everyone in Pakistan believes that they have spoken. According to the

Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), some 60 percent of the country’s 86

million registered voters voted, including a large number of women,1 despite

fears of violence.2Widespread post-election protests indicate that their “voice”

was qualified.3

Nothing else can explain why the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz

(PML-N), a Nawaz Sharif-led breakaway group of the original Pakistan Muslim

League4 that for five years had partnered with the utterly corrupt Pakistan

People Party (which some call the “Plunder Pakistan Party”), secured a huge

landslide in the National (Federal Lower House) Assembly and in the Punjab

Provincial (State) Assembly. In comparison to this landslide, the wildly popular

Pakistan Tehreek Insaf (PTI; Pakistan Justice Movement), led by the internationally

loved and renowned sports hero-turned-philanthropist and

Oxford-educated political leader Imran Khan, secured only twenty-eight national

assembly seats. As per the Pakistani constitution, the seats reserved for

women, minorities, and other population groups are awarded to each party in

proportion to the number of seats they win. To win an outright majority, a

party must obtain 50%+1 of the total seats (272+reserved).5 This will once

again favor the PML-N, the largest party bloc, with an additional chunk of

most of these seventy reserved seats.

Not only PTI supporters, but even others joined massive sit-ins asking for

their will to be respected.6 In areas predicted to massively support the PTI, voters

were made to wait in line for more than ten hours in the 95oF heat, and even

above in some areas, and then turned away without being allowed to cast their

votes. In some cases, the stamped ballot papers were snatched and torn-up before

they could be dropped into the transparent plastic ballot box.7 Also, in

many areas the ballot boxes were looted and destroyed and the polling stations

were locked up, thereby allowing some candidates to stuff the ballot boxes.8

And then there are charges that the other parties, except for the PTI, were buying

votes and that officials were dispensing cash like running water.

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, commenting on the elections,

declared: “…the Elections of 2013 were the costliest in the country’s

history, in addition to being the most grossly mismanaged by the Election

Commission of Pakistan (ECP).”9


A Sorry History of Political Impunity

In recent years, Pakistan, despite having more than 100 officially registered

political parties, has sauntered into being a two-party affair: the PML-N and

the PPP rule alternatively; sometimes they even share power. A short review

of the country’s political history reveals how the dream of a truly democratic

Pakistan was destroyed soon after its birth.

At its founding in 1947, the departing British colonial rulers granted Pakistan

a rather unique arrangement: a country composed of two geographically

separated wings. East Bengal, which eventually became East Pakistan,

contained more than 50 percent of the country’s population; located nearly

1,000 miles to the west was West Pakistan, comprising West Punjab, Sind,

Baluchistan, the North West Frontier Province (later renamed Khyber

Pakhtunkhwa). As the British had mainly used Punjab for recruiting the cannon

fodder needed for its colonial expansion in the region and elsewhere, the

new country’s power rested primarily on this province, an unfortunate development

that led to the appearance of a sense of deprivation within other

provinces. This dissatisfaction ultimately led to East Pakistan’s secession in

1971. The country’s founder, Mahomed Ali Jinnah, died soon after independence.

His successor Liaquat Ali Khan was assassinated in 1953 in Rawalpindi,

now a twin city with the nation’s capital: Islamabad. After this event, the rot

began to set in.

After a spell of short-lived and incessantly squabbling civilian governments,

which took nine years to adopt a constitution (1956), the military commander

and later self-styled field marshal Ayub Khan staged the country’s

first military coup.10 After eleven years of rule, during which his family enriched

themselves at will,11 he handed power over to his handpicked successor

General Yahya Khan, who was more inclined to pursue women and alcohol

than affairs of state. And he, in his turn, left another legacy: Zulfikar Ali

Bhutto, a debauchee and power-hungry manipulator.12After the controversial

presidential elections of 1965, Ayub’s standing began to slide amidst allegations

of widespread vote rigging. His former protégé Bhutto took full advantage

of this and propelled himself to the forefront.

In 1965, Bhutto developed a novel scheme to upset his mentor: he helped

initiate a war with India, hoping that the ensuing defeat would weaken General

Khan and help him rise to the top.13 After being fired, Bhutto launched the

Pakistan People’s Party (PPP). An astute speaker, he was able to rouse the

masses with promises of providing them with the basic necessities of life. But

after the country split in half, since both Yahya Khan and Bhutto refused to

recognize the Awami League’s winning a majority of seats in East Pakistan,

the latter came to power by default because he led the largest group in Parliament

of what was left of the country. Bhutto kept none of his promises, his

skewed economic policies destroyed the country’s industrial and financial

base, and widespread corruption became the order of the day.

Under his rule, this believer in absolute power who lusted after power in

order to keep everyone’s life under his control destroyed whatever industrial

and commercial base had been built. After he rigged the 1977 elections in

order to win a two-thirds majority, civil disorder broke out and his own handpicked

commander-in-chief, Ziaul Haq, overthrew him. Zia, who originally

took office for a 90-day cleansing period, stayed in power until 1988, when

he and several generals were killed in a still-mysterious plane crash.

The 1988 elections led to the PPP securing ninety-four of the 207 seats in

the National Assembly. Acting President Ghulam Ishaq Khan invited it to form

a government, and its leader Benazir Bhutto (1953-2007), Zulfikar Ali

Bhutto’s daughter, became the Muslim world’s first-ever female prime minister.

Like her father’s misrule, Benazir’s rule was also marked by large-scale

corruption. After she was dismissed in 1990 on corruption charges, her husband

Asif Ali Zardari was held from 1990-93 on various corruption charges;

he was eventually acquitted.

Corruption was rife. In fact, Benazir had appointed her husband environment

minister (1993-96) and minister for investment (1995-96). In 1996, when

her handpicked president Farooq Laghari dismissed her government on corruption

charges, Zardari was accused of having taken kickbacks (by then he

had acquired the nickname “Mr. Ten Percent”14) and of having ordered the

murder of Bhutto’s brother, a political opponent. He was again imprisoned,

briefly in 1996 and from 1997 to 2004. Bhutto and Zardari also were convicted

(1999) of corruption and embezzlement; Pakistan’s Supreme Court ordered a

new trial in 2001. A Swiss court convicted the couple of money laundering in

2003, but they appealed.

The corruption cases against them and thousands of other PPP and coalition

partners were set aside by the National Reconciliation Order issued in

December 2009 by General Musharraf, acting under former president George

W. Bush’s pressure.15 However, the Supreme Court later rejected Musharraf’s

act on the grounds that it was essentially writing off billions of stolen dollars.16

Zardari17 denied the charges and denounced them as politically motivated. But

after becoming president, he told the Supreme Court to release the $60 million

account in a Swiss bank – money allegedly siphoned off from a contract given

to a Swiss firm.18

During the 1990s Nawaz Sharif, who led his own faction of the Pakistan

Muslim League, the party that had struggled for Pakistan’s creation, also

served two prime ministerial stints. His first term was aborted by President

Ishaq Khan, and his second term started after his electoral victory in 1997. In

1999, Sharif’s handpicked commander-in-chief, General Musharraf, ousted

him in a yet another military coup.19

The Current Players

General Haq, at first scorned by the West for being a dictator, became the

apple of his critics’ eyes when the Soviets invaded Afghanistan, for he allowed

Pakistan to serve as the base to channel arms and fighters into its neighbor.

While the West and its Muslim allies, most notably Saudi Arabia, subcontracted

the actual fighting to randomly recruited fundamentalist and other zealous

Muslims, these mujahideen’s eventual triumph over the Soviet army led

to the Soviet collapse. But it also had an unintended side effect: It destroyed

the Pakistan that its people had known up to that point in time by reducing to

an international base for terrorists, an object of death and destruction, and a

plaything of the West.

Haq had nurtured a civilian protégé, Nawaz Sharif, a person regarded by

many Pakistanis as a man of limited intelligence and skills.20 He now appointed

this man to the post of a provincial finance minister. Sharif’s father, a

self-made industrial tycoon, and his son’s foray into politics helped the Sharif

enterprise expand astronomically.21 Both Nawaz and Benazir had two lucrative

stints in office, each accusing the other of corruption.

Over five years ago, General Musharraf, bowing to the pressure applied

by George W. Bush, pardoned Benazir and her group’s corruption and crimes

by issuing the National Reconciliation Order (NRO; later voided by the

Supreme Court), which allowed Benazir to return to politics.22 Sharif followed

soon thereafter. In the run up to the 2008 elections, Benazir was assassinated

– a mystery that remains unsolved despite her party’s five years in power. The

PTI and the other parties boycotted the election because it was held under the

NRO, but the PML-N broke ranks and participated.

The election produced a mixed Parliament: at the federal level, the PPP

teamed up with three smaller parties and the ever-available opportunists. The

result was a five-year period of mismanagement and corruption during which

most of the public institutions were robbed and bankrupted.23 Zardari, the

largest bagger of goodies, added to his earlier loot during his wife’s two terms

in office. Among his latest picking was a $50 million mansion24 in Lahore

“presented” to his son by an “uncle,” described as the country’s largest and

most ruthless real estate tycoon, in early 2013.25

In Punjab, the PLM-N, which had never seriously challenged the PPP,

partnered with it to run the province. In keeping with its style, the PML-N focused

only on short-term projects, usually those attention-grabbing ones that

could be completed in time for elections.26 For instance, instead of investing in

agricultural development, especially since Punjab has a heavily agricultural

economy, the PML-N provincial government lavished tens of millions of rupees

on subsidized bread. Also, instead of raising educational standards and

facilities, the leading politicians started giving away free laptops. Such stopgap

measures do garner votes, but they also waste the much-needed development


Great numbers of ordinary Pakistanis were fed up with these usual tactics,

as evidenced by the tens of thousands of them who attended Imran’s raucous

rallies. But despite this groundswell, various opinion surveys indicated that

Sharif would win by a landslide.27While this indicated that Imran had energized

the traditionally disfranchised economic and social classes, he was unable

to attract sufficient numbers of “electables,” namely, the mostly hereditary

feudal politicians and “spiritual” leaders. In reality, these were the real or

claimed descendants of those Muslims who had come to preach in India centuries

ago and came to be revered by the people. They are constantly returned

to the provincial assemblies, regardless of the party they may be representing

or how they lead their personal lives, and demand a price for their services. In

fact, they maintain that it is their birthright to stand for election in their hereditary


But Imran, a firm opponent of such traditional privilege, was determined

to end the reign of such exploiters by placing actual power in the hands of the

people. Initially sensing that Imran was a rising star, quite a few such “electables”

joined his party. But they left, often badmouthing him, as soon as they

realized that their supposed birthright counted for nothing in this new party.

Ironically, it was these many party hoppers who were returned to assemblies,

often thrashing the personally upright and qualified candidates fielded by the

PTI. The status quo worked, or perhaps it would be more accurate to say that

it was engineered.

PTI president Javed Hashmi has said that the party is collecting evidence

of massive nationwide irregularities and vote rigging. Addressing a press conference

on May 13, 2013, he said: “We will bring out a white paper on the

massive rigging in polling after gathering evidence.”28 After much criticism,

the ECP has asked the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA)

to help verify votes by matching thumbprints with its database; its software

can verify 500,000 votes per day.29 However, the question remains how far

this will proceed once the victors are in power.

And yet there is some solace: A party that had secured only one seat, that

of Imran, in the 2002 assembly and had boycotted the 2008 elections now rules

Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa (KPK) province. Since day one, Imran had stated his

principles in the following terms. If he failed to secure a clear majority, he

would not form a coalition government with any of the parties that had ruled

during the past five years and those that maintain armed wings. He had also

repeatedly declared that he does not consider Zardari’s election as president

legal because he obtained the office via the (now illegal) NRO. Thus even if

he had secured a majority in the National Assembly, he would have refused to

take the oath from Zardari, who remains in office until September 2013.

Similarly, the PTI has fewer National Assembly seats than the PPP. The

PTI, firm on its principle of not dealing with parties that had riled the country

for the last five years, could not form the coalition needed for claiming the

leader of opposition position. Under Pakistani parliamentary procedures, the

PPP’s Syed Khursheed Shah took this slot, and thus the authority to make

committee appointments. The party promptly appointed Zardari’s sister, Dr.

Azra Afzal Pechuho, as the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairperson.

The parliamentary watchdog is responsible for auditing funds appropriated

by the National Assembly. During its last tenure, the PPP created the precedant

of having the opposition leader – or his/her nominee – serve as the PAC’s

chairperson. Considering the PPP’s penchant for corruption, what hopes can

the public hold that these two cannot outnumber the PPP-led coalition, which

could include their partners in the past government?30

When Nawaz visited Imran in the hospital31 – he is recuperating from an

accidental fall – on May 14, Imran reminded him of the hadith that Muslims

must shed their anger toward each other within three days. Nawaz agreed.

The PTI, which leads in the KPK, has established the provincial government

in coalition with the JI and others. The PTI has 34 of the 95 seats, the JI and

the Quami Watan Party have 7 each, while the 8 independents can make their

own choice. Under the Eighteenth Constitutional Amendment, the independent

MPs have to join a political party within three days after the ECP notifies

them of who won the election; otherwise, they must stay independent and cannot

join any party at later stage.32 But unlike the 2008 post-election scenario,

the PML-N does not need them because it has a near simple majority in the

National Assembly and more than the number required for forming a government

in Punjab.

Raising the Nation

Imran, in his time the cricket world’s best all-rounder – as he had promised to

himself – retired aged thirty-nine and at the top of his game. In 1992, the country’s

president pressured him to return and play one more World Cup. Pakistan

won, and Imran utilized his fame to fulfill his pledge that he had made after

seeing his mother suffer from cancer: He would build the country’s first worldclass

charitable specialist cancer hospital. In addition, he is perhaps the only

Pakistani leader who published his autobiography prior to launching his election

campaign.33 The people, especially the youth, answered the call and the

people-financed hospital in Lahore has become a reality. A second such facility

is nearing completion in Peshawar, and a tract of land in Karachi awaits the

third hospital.

Educated at the country’s most exclusive private school, Lahore’s Aitchison

College (also known as Chief’s College),34 Imran wanted to place that level

of education within everyone’s reach. Toward this end, he established Namal

University in one of the country’s most neglected areas – not too far from where

American drones keep dropping their payloads. Affiliated with Britain’s Bradford

University, it provides that level of higher education at a nominal cost.

However, he feels that such philanthropy alone cannot answer Pakistan’s myriad

problems. In fact, he strongly believes that nothing can be straightened out

in the absence of an effective and uncorrupted legal system.35

When he launched the PTI in 1996, Imran became a laughingstock, for no

one could visualize that this shy sportsman could lead a party, let alone Pakistan.

The price was steep36: his political opponents, especially PML-N chief

Nawaz Sharif – who has headed the Punjab and federal governments on five

occasions – ruthlessly targeted him and managed to destroy his family life. In

1995, Imran had married heiress Jemima Goldsmith, a British convert. She

was labeled a “Jewess” and an “Israeli agent,” and even charged with smuggling

tiles that she had obtained for the house they were building in suburban

Islamabad. Unable to take such pressure, Jemima, now the mother of two sons,

returned to Britain in 2004 and arranged an amicable divorce.

Like most Pakistanis, Imran also knew that the stranglehold of corruption

and injustice could be broken only by ousting the feudal landlords (created

by the British), who have engaged in every unimaginable trick to cling to

power in order to quench their insatiable thirst for power and wealth. Since it

became independent sixty-five years ago, Pakistan has been ruled by four military

dictators: M. Ayub Khan (1958-69), Agha Yahya Khan (1969-71), M.

Ziaul Haq (1977-88), and Pervez Musharraf (1999-2008) – inglorious periods

by any count. Such corruption and mismanagement has forced this nuclear

power to beg from all and sundry,37 which has led to its recent, and now complete,

subjugation to the dictates of foreign powers, whether they have its best

interests at heart or not.

Pakistan is also plagued by foreign intervention. The Soviet occupation

of neighboring Afghanistan and the skewed western response destroyed its

civil structure. Another shattering blow to its stability was delivered by the

post-9/11 western response in Afghanistan. Now the country is being ravaged

by terrorism, drone bombing, and political and economic instability.

Imran vociferously opposes the drone campaign38 and Pakistani ownership

of the war in Afghanistan, stressing that these actions have not only cost

thousands of innocent Pakistani lives, but are also the main reason for the

deadly violence raging throughout the country. Sharif has maintained an ambiguous

stance on this particular issue. Understandably, the moment the election

results indicated a swing toward Sharif, an impatient Barack Obama39

and David Cameron40 did their best to congratulate and build him up; they

even praised his economic policies. Secretary of State John Kerry is ready to

travel there to meet the new team.41

This also indicates that the drone strikes will probably continue, as well

as the overwhelmingly negative reaction to them.42While Britain has maintained

that the drone issue was a bilateral Pakistani-American matter, the

Guardian’s Jamie Doward43 revealed that Britain, which is also involved in

the drone warfare,44 has been forced to admit that it has been funding surveys

in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas that reveal that American

drone strikes in the region are causing deep resentment among the local


The 2013 Elections

Most political parties in Pakistan, including the PML-N and the PPP, are in

fact merely family-owned and -operated self-enrichment corporations that

distribute nominations for elections to family45 and friends.46 Even the constitutional

requirements for elected party officials is a farce.47 Imran, seeking

genuine grassroots representation, flouted this norm by seeking nominees who

had been elected by their peers as well as candidates who had unblemished

tax records and personal histories. During October 2011, his dream finally

materialized when more than 100,000 citizens answered his call at a rally in

Lahore, the capital city of Punjab and home to nearly 60 percent of all Pakistanis

– and the momentum continued to rise.48 This led to mass membership

drives, which resulted in a total of more than 10 million members. The 80,000

councilors, all of whom were elected from the village level, then recommended

nominees to the party’s election board. An example of transparency

is that when the nomination papers of Imran’s paternal cousin and founding

member49were put up for discussion, Imran not only recused himself, but also

took no action – even when the board ruled against his cousin.

Unfortunately, managing a nationwide electoral campaign for so many

councilors took far more effort and time than the party had originally envisaged.

Due to the delays in the nomination process, the candidates were left

with little time to canvass their voters. Some political commentators are calling

this a grievous mistake on Imran’s part.

As things now stand, PTI supporters remain in a state of shock. However,

some political commentators have pointed out that Sharif has promised far too

much,50 such as running a bullet train from Peshawar to Karachi, a project that

would cost tens of billions of dollars that a financially strapped country with

such low tax revenues cannot possibly afford.51 Such reality-defying promises

may, before two years, result in calls for another election. Just to start addressing

some these promises, Sharif will have to tackle the severe power shortages that

damage the already aid-dependent economy52 and hold back job creation –

things the party sidestepped during its previous five-year rule.Conclusion

Imran is perhaps the only Pakistani leader who published his autobiography

prior to launching his election campaign.53 His call was answered by all levels

of professionals, especially IT specialists and those enjoying well-paid

jobs overseas. Most famously, the CEO of a Pakistani corporation left his

reportedly $1 million-a-year job to join the ranks.54 The PTI ran a fabulous

media and social media campaign, and Imran, being a national treasure, was

the political leader most often invited by the dozens of television broadcasters

to appear on their programs. He also fulfilled his promise that his party

would give 35 percent of its nominations to men and women below the age

of forty, irrespective of their social and financial status.55 The party even financed

the campaigns of its low-income candidates. While Imran has failed

to break the stranglehold of the feudal class,56 many of whom, ironically,

are his schoolmates, he has given a base to popular involvement in national


Irrespective of the national and provincial assemblies’ final composition,

Imran has created a hitherto unknown political awareness among all

social strata, especially young voters. Women, defying the vigilante action

of some tribal and self-styled religious groups, turned up in large numbers

to vote. When the much-awaited voting system for overseas Pakistanis was

not readied in time, tens of thousands flew in to vote, and mostly voted for

the PTI.

In his concession speech from his hospital bed – he is being treated for

an accidental fall from a lift raising him to a 20-foot-high platform – Imran

proclaimed: “I congratulate the entire nation for taking part in such a massive

democratic process. We are moving forward on the path of democracy.” He

then added: “Even those people who never voted in their life came out, and

the entire nation is happy to see it. Now there is an awareness among the people

of Pakistan that their fate is in their hands.”57

Herein lies the challenge for Imran: Will he be able to hold his party together,

whose numbers grew so remarkably after October 2011, and maintain

the energies of the youth whom he did so much to empower?


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Lahore, 27 Feb. 2013. http://www. nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-

146 The American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences 30:3

ajiss303-for printing_ajiss 7/26/2013 10:35 AM Page 146


in-lahore (accessed 15 May 2013).

26. “Sharifs hope to ride transit scheme to victory,” Affan Chowdhry, Globe and

Mail, Toronto, 25 Apr. 2013, http:// http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/

sharifs-hope-to-ride-transit-scheme-to-victory/article11562322/ (accessed 15

May 2013).

27. “PTI urges ECP to take notice of Gallup’s ‘misguiding poll’,” 26 Apr. 2013,

News, Karachi, http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-6-173521-PTIurges-

ECP-to-take-notice-of-Gallups-misguiding-poll (accessed 15 May 2013).

28. “PTI to issue white paper on rigging: Hashmi,” Imaduddin, 14 May 2013, Business

Recorder, Karachi, http://www.brecorder.com/elections-2013/top-news/

119513-pti-to-issue-white-paper-on-rigging-hashmi.html (accessed 15 May


29. “ECP asks NADRA to help verify voters’ thumbprints,” Express Tribune, Lahore,

20 May 2013, http://tribune.com.pk/story/551882/ecp-asks-nadra-to-helpverify-

thumbprints/ (accessed 20 May 2013).

30. http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=20136\10\story_10-6-

2013_pg7_14, Daily Times, Lahore, 10 Jun. 2013 (accessed 10 Jun. 2013).

31. “Bouquet diplomacy: Nawaz offers, Imran accepts hatchet-burying offer,” Abdul

Mannan, Express Tribune, Karachi, 15 May 2013, http://tribune.com.pk/story/


(accessed 15 May 2013).

32. “PTI, JI, QWP join hands to form govt in KPK,” Sajid Zia and Abrar Saeed,

14 May 2013, Nation, Lahore, http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-

daily-english-online/national/14-May-2013/ pti-ji-qwp-join-hands-to-formgovt-

in-kpk (accessed 15 May 2013).

33. Imran Khan, Pakistan: A Personal History (London: Bantam Press, 2011).

34. http://www.ualberta.ca/~rnoor/aitchison_college.html (accessed 15 May 2013).

35. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pakistan_Tehreek-e-Insaf (accessed 15 May 2013).

36. “‘I almost lost the will to live’: Imran Khan reveals torment over break-up of

his marriage to Jemima Goldsmith,” Craig Mackenzie, 26 Nov. 2011, Mail Online,

London. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/ article-2066533/Imran-Khanreveals-


(accessed 15 May 2013).

37. “Pakistan’s total debt reaches [US]$130bn,” 28 Feb. 2012, Dawn, Karachi,

http://dawn.com/2012/02/28/pakistans-total-debt-reaches-130bn/ (accessed 15

May 2013).

38. “PTI will shoot drones down once in power: Imran Khan,” Ferya Ilyas/Iftikhar

Firdous, 10 Feb. 2012, Express Tribune, Lahore, http://tribune.com.pk/story/

334469/pti-will-shoot-drones-down-once-in-power-imran-khan/ (accessed 15

May 2013).

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http://dawn.com/2013/05/14/obama-wishes-to-meet-nawaz-soon/ (accessed 15

May 2013).

Abdullah: Did Pakistanis Vote for the Status Quo? 147

ajiss303-for printing_ajiss 7/26/2013 10:35 AM Page 147

40. “Cameron praises Nawaz Sharif for economic aims,” Daily Times, Lahore, 14

May 2013. http://www.dailytimes. com.pk/default.asp?page=2013%5C05%

5C14%5Cstory_14-5-2013_pg7_5 (accessed 15 May 2013).

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Today, Lahore, 17 May 2013, http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2013/05/16/

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May 2013).

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45. “Political parties name their own family members for reserved seats,” Tariq Butt,

The News, Karachi, 24 Apr. 2013, http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-


(accessed 20 May 2013). See also “Democracy at its best: Kith and kin grab a

lion’s share of PML-N tickets,” Tayyab Hussain, 16 Apr. 2013, Pakistan Today,

Lahore (accessed 15 May 2013), http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2013/04/



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tickets/ (accessed 15 May 2013).

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2013, The News, Karachi, http://www. thenews. com.pk/Todays-News-2-

162981-PPP-stalwarts-move-petition-against-intra-party-polls (accessed 15 May


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Coverage,” Pakistan Defence, 30 Oct. 2011, http://www.defence.pk/forums/


11.html#ixzz2TNgMcP6H (accessed 15 May 2013).

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2013, News, Karachi, http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-2-175265-

Imrans-cousin-Niazi-contesting-against-PTI-nominee (accessed 15 May 2013).

50 “Pakistan elections: How Nawaz Sharif beat Imran Khan and what happens next,”

Mohammed Hanif, Guardian, 13 May 2013. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/

2013/may/13/pakistan-elections-nawaz-sharif-imran-khan (accessed 15 May


148 The American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences 30:3

ajiss303-for printing_ajiss 7/26/2013 10:35 AM Page 148

51. “Nawaz promises $10b bullet train,” Abdul Mujib Zahid and M. Irtaza, Nation,

Lahore, 4 May 2013, http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaperdaily-


(accessed 15 May 2013).

52. “Aid Addiction,” Naseer Memon, 15 May 2013, http://tribune.com.pk/story/

549776/aid-addiction/ (accessed 15 May 2013).

53. Khan, Pakistan.

54. “Former Engro CEO Asad Umar joins PTI,” Express Tribune, 18 Apr. 2012,

Karachi, http://tribune.com.pk/story/366422/former-engro-ceo-asad-umar-joinspti/

(accessed 15 May 2013).

55. “Game changers: Imran injects ‘fresh blood’ into national politics,” Zahid

Gishkori, 16 Apr. 2013, http://tribune.com.pk/story/536149/game-changersimran-

injects-fresh-blood-into-national-politics/ (accessed 15 May 2013).

56. “Feudal Bonds Grip Pakistan Rural Vote in Bar for Landowner Tax,” Haris Anwar

and Khurrum Anis, Bloomberg.com, 7 May 2013, http://www.bloomberg.com/


html (accessed 16 May 2013).

57. Imran Khan (PTI), “Last Full Election Speech From Shoukat Khanum Hospital

[Lahore] (D-Chowk [Islamabad],” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=

bDIoFt2K88g (accessed 9 May 2013).


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