All roads lead to Raiwind

Voters showing their inked thumbs. PHOTO: Ayesha Mir/Express

Voters showing their inked thumbs. PHOTO: Ayesha Mir/Express A person carrying an elderly person to the polling station to cast his vote. PHOTO: INP / ISLAMABAD IDps showing their CNIC'c. PHOTO: AFP / PESHAWAR A children casting vote. PHOTO:  ATHAR KHAN / KARACHI Nawaz claims victory; ‘tsunami’ sweeps K-P; PPP confined to Sindh; Nationalists show strength in Balochistan. PHOTO: REUTERS / LAHORE
ISLAMABAD: After 16 years, Raiwind is once again the centre of power.

Nawaz Sharif is all set to form a Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government in the Centre for the third time, after his party emerged as the clear leader according to the unofficial results of the 2013 elections.

Millions turned out to cast their votes on Saturday, largely rejecting the former ruling coalition led by the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP). Many idols fell as Pakistanis voted for new faces in the National Assembly from the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI), which has emerged as the second largest political force, surpassing the PPP and others.

Although, results are yet to be officially announced, Nawaz was quick to declare victory as he addressed his supporters outside his Model Town residence in Lahore. “We are thankful to Allah for giving the PML-N another chance to serve Pakistan,” he said in his brief address.

“Now, pray that we (the PML-N) get am absolute majority in assembly,” he said. The PML-N chief, however, indicated that if needed he would be willing to form a coalition with other smaller parties.

Nawaz also announced that he would forgive “all those who abused” him and his brother and former Punjab chief minister Shahbaz Sharif.

Nawaz served as prime minister from 1990 to 1993, before he was sacked by then president Ghulam Ishaq Khan. His second term lasted from1997 to 1999, when he was deposed by the Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf.

The province of the Punjab holds the key to the making or breaking of governments, owing to its 148 general seats in the National Assembly that were, this time,  dominated by the N-League. Nawaz Sharif’s party reclaimed almost all those seats won by the PPP in the 2008 elections.

According to  PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif won his NA-120 constituency, and Shahbaz Sharif won NA-129.

PTI chairman Imran Khan lost NA-122 to Sardar Ayaz Sadiq after a close competition. However, PTI’s Shafqat Mehmood and Hamid Khan advocate won NA-126 and NA-125 respectively. This makes the PTI Punjab’s second largest party.

The PPP did not fare as well, with many of its major leaders losing by large margins in some cases.

Saturday’s polls were historic not only for being the first democratic transition in the country’s history, but also in terms of the turnover, especially given the security situation in the country.

The polls’ interim results disproved all negative assessments about Imran Khan’s PTI, which performed beyond the expectations of many. Imran won his native seat from Mianwali, after defeating his arch rival, veteran politician Obaidullah Khan Shadikhel, by a margin of about 60,000 votes.

The PTI appears to be filling the gap created by the PPP and its allies, whose last five year stint was mired with allegations of corruption, mismanagement, economic downturn and lawlessness.

The PPP maintained a good record in its traditional stronghold – Sindh. Senior politicians Syed Naveed Qamar and Syed Khursheed Shah retained their respective seats with handsome leads. According to unofficial results, however, former ministers Imtiaz Safdar Warraich, Firdous Ashiq Awan, Mian Manzoor Wattoo and two-time winner from Sargodha Tasneem Ahmed Qureshi lost the elections.

With Qureshi and Afzal Gondals’ defeat in Sargodha, the PPP has lost its chances of winning any seat from the five seats of Sargodha district. Unconfirmed results suggested that the PML-N dominated the district, as well as Faisalabad district’s 10 contested seats.

However, not everyone in the PML-N was a winner. Some big names in the party, particularly ones from the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad, failed to bag majority votes. Muhammad Shakeel Awan from NA-55 lost to Awami Muslim League (AML) leader and veteran politician Sheikh Rashid Ahmed; Hanif Abbasi was in tough competition with Imran Khan for NA-56, while the PML-N also lost one of its two previous seats in Islamabad, which was claimed this time by PTI’s Makhdoom Javed Hashmi, who defeated N-League’s Anjum Aqeel Khan by a big margin.

The fractured PML-Quaid, which boasted 54 seats in the previous assembly, was able to retain only a handful of seats. PPP ally, the embattled Awami National Party (ANP), which ruled Khyber-Pakhtounkhwa (K-P), was almost completely wiped out. All its central leaders, including its chief Asfandyar Wali, failed to retain their seats.

A significant number of assembly seats were won by independent candidates, who, according to unofficial results, numbered over 20. Political pundits predict that most of them would swing towards the majority party in the National Assembly – the PML-N.

Unofficial results

According to the unofficial results, in Sindh the PPP has won nine National Assembly seats; MQM has won seven; PML-F one, and JI has failed to win any.

In Balochistan, the National Party and PkMAP won two seats each, and the PML-N and BNP-Mengal won a seat each.

In Peshawar, PTI is leading in all four NA seats.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 12th, 2013.

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Reader Comments (35)

  • anybodyagree
    May 12, 2013 - 5:50AM

    My Pakistan is captured by Taliban……..????

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  • Water Bottle
    May 12, 2013 - 5:53AM

    “Nawaz also announced that he would forgive “all those who abused” him and his brother and former Punjab chief minister Shahbaz Sharif.”

    Even the more reasonable ones can be so narcissistic.

    Recommend

  • Usman
    May 12, 2013 - 6:14AM

    This was massively rigged election of Pakistan. No more hope for Pakistan.

    Recommend

  • anybodyagree
    May 12, 2013 - 6:16AM

    My Pakistan is Captured by Punjabi Taliban…..?????

    Recommend

  • Ch. Allah Daad
    May 12, 2013 - 6:30AM

    PTI should accept defeat with brave and open heart. Its absolutely in position to call it a rigged election. Every sensible person predicted that it will not win more than ten seats. So far it has genuinely won four, the other ones are gifted by Taliban.

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  • The Khan-Waterloo,Ontario
    May 12, 2013 - 7:53AM

    Came all the way from Canada to vote for PTI and thankfully Hamid Khan won. Was a free and fair election by Pakistani standards

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  • Historian 1
    May 12, 2013 - 7:57AM

    10 more factories for Nawaz Sharif

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  • Malatesh
    May 12, 2013 - 8:07AM

    Congratulations Pakistan.Recommend

  • pmln-ttp-alliance
    May 12, 2013 - 8:27AM

    PML-N would like to thank everyone especially ttp for having made this possible. Islam is the state religion and complete implementation of it is the only way forward.

    Recommend

  • GS@Y
    May 12, 2013 - 8:33AM

    Please correct: NA-125 has been won by PML-N’s Khwaja Saad Rafiq, and not by PTI’s Hamid Khan.

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  • Gulapan Khattak
    May 12, 2013 - 9:05AM

    We Pashtoon youth have voted PTI in hope to bring peace. It is upto Imran & his team to convince Pak establishment to end this Molla monkey business. All the sanctuaries needs to be shut down to end drones strikes & in turn the bombing. Pashtun did the same deal with ANP but they fail to deliver from Pak establishment. PTI shall learn from the experience of ANP. PTI is now mainstream Pashtun representative party as it did not get any seats in Punjab, Sindh or Baluchistan.

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  • Suhas
    May 12, 2013 - 9:11AM

    @anybodyagree:
    @Usman:
    How can you say this ?

    Recommend

  • M. AKRAM
    May 12, 2013 - 9:12AM

    The Preamble to the Constitution acknowledges that Sovereignty belongs to Allah, to be exercised through the will of the people. Nawaz Sharif should feel humbled that the forgiving AWAM have chosen him to lead the Nation. He should also remember all the mistakes he made in his earlier incarnations suchRecommend

  • Ali S
    May 12, 2013 - 9:27AM

    Rigged or not, I was always skeptical that PTI could clean-sweep PML-N Punjab in their first election – there was a million in one chance anyway, social media (which is available to a tiny minority of the whole population anyway) had hyped it way out of proportion. At most, the PTI could have significantly closed the margin with which PML-N won in urban Punjab.

    I think people need to stop keeping unrealistically sky-high expectations for PTI results in their first elections – they were able to convince millions of first-time voters (myself included) to come out and vote for them, are the second-largest party in national assembly and lead KPK’s provincial assembly – that’s a huge achievement as far as I’m concerned, congrats to PTI for that. And double kudos to PTI for being able to achieve that without a single rigging allegation.

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  • AKRAM
    May 12, 2013 - 9:32AM

    The Preamble to the Constitution acknowledges that Sovereignty belongs to Allah, to be exercised through the will of the people.
    Nawaz Sharif should feel humbled that the forgiving AWAM have chosen him to lead the Nation. He should also acknowledge all the mistakes he made in his earlier incarnations such as the frozen dollars of overseas Pakistanis, the empty Motorway, the Mercedes imported under Yellow-cab scheme to mention just a few. He should do an honest soul searching and may even seek help in so doing. He will only succeed if he puts the AWAM ahead of his egotistic self. To do well he will have to get rid of the bad advisers.Recommend

  • Indian
    May 12, 2013 - 9:46AM

    Where are PTI guys making tall claims that they will take oath from exsisting president. whole world was talking of prepoll survey of NS victory

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  • Kashif Riaz
    May 12, 2013 - 10:03AM

    Imran Khan the one person who could have saved Pakistan has lost. This is the end of Pakistan.

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  • ahmed
    May 12, 2013 - 10:15AM

    so now PTI saying rigged. PTI should form gov with N and show that they can work instead of sitting in opposition and doing the easiest thing in the world that is criticize criticize and criticize

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  • okarabull
    May 12, 2013 - 10:25AM

    Today my whole family and friends are sad!!

    Recommend

  • Khaksar
    May 12, 2013 - 10:34AM

    Maybe Tsunami Communications Inc should get into advertising??

    Recommend

  • ;-) chief
    May 12, 2013 - 11:10AM

    @Historian 1:
    In KSA….!!!Recommend

  • Proud Lahore
    May 12, 2013 - 11:47AM

    Stop crying PTI supporters. You still dont understand that Pakistan is much much bigger and complex than Face book and twitter. You have ample of time to make new songs and T Shirts until next elections. Trust me next time you wont be looking at Punjab as you would be more focused on saving your face in KPK. Continue bringing your revolution on Internet and have sweet dreams,

    Recommend

  • ;-) chief
    May 12, 2013 - 11:50AM

    @Gulapan Khattak:
    Yes…!!!
    PTI, Please Start your political carrier from Zero. A tough job, but not impossible….
    Good Luck Again..!!!!!!!!!Recommend

  • ahmad
    May 12, 2013 - 12:05PM

    stop crying pti trolls. .there’s a world beyond social media where the ghareeb will always prioritize jangla bas over an independent (self-proclaimed) foreign policy.

    Recommend

  • ;-) chief
    May 12, 2013 - 12:26PM

    Let’s see how he (NS) deals with General Musharaf…. ????Recommend

  • Naveed Alam Khattak
    May 12, 2013 - 12:33PM

    Once again it is proved that Punjabis & Sindhis cannot take breath without the permission of Chaudries & Waderas. I hope PML (N) will deliver and will solve the problems of Pakistan (Not only Punjab).

    Recommend

  • anybodyagree
    May 12, 2013 - 12:35PM

    @Suhas:
    Cross yours Fingers & Wait….Recommend

  • anybodyagree
    May 12, 2013 - 12:45PM

    How Very Painful…..!!!!
    Pakistan is now left with regional parties only.
    Punjab = PML-N,
    KPK = PTI,
    Sindh = PPP + MQM

    Recommend

  • Proud Lahore
    May 12, 2013 - 12:49PM

    @Kashif Riaz:
    Brother it is just the end of your Sunami and Imran Khan’s disrespect to every one else in Pakistan. Spend more time in real world than face booka and twitter, you would not be that SAD

    Recommend

  • Gooner
    May 12, 2013 - 1:16PM

    @Ch. Allah Daad: Mr. Daad, you have some nerves to call ‘people’ of Khyber Pakhtukhwa talibans.. Mr. Imran Khan won the seats from KPK for his promise for change and better system. And guess what? Only the people of KPK stood up with him, showed their loyalty and backed his ‘educated and young’ candidates.. So please dont give names to us, the people of KPK, because it’s just us trying to break the system and tradition of musical chairs here, not others who openly support and back ‘Taliban and their affiliates’

    Recommend

  • Aysha
    May 12, 2013 - 1:54PM

    All hail Ameer ul Momaneen Nawaz Sharif

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  • FACT
    May 12, 2013 - 2:34PM

    @Gooner:
    The Problem with KPK is they support a new party every time. I am nost sure who is going to be the next.

    Recommend

  • Faraz
    May 12, 2013 - 10:17PM

    @GS@Y:
    I voted in NA 125 and I would have assumed 100% that PTI bagged it seeing all the Defence voting out Saad Rafique! Surprised, sorry shocked when heard that Saad Rafique won. Joke!
    No wonder why everyone is on street in Defence. Shameless Sharifs and their chief tens !

    Recommend

  • AKRAM
    May 13, 2013 - 8:14AM

    The KPK voters have truly understood what Democracy is all about! VOTE and kick out those who donot deliver! The rest are all wrapped up in their own shenanigans! Think about that!Recommend

  • Stranger
    May 13, 2013 - 4:54PM

    Err.. the fourth picture says – A children casting vote. Firstly its grammatically wrong . it should be – a child casting vote. Secondly are children allowed to vote in Pak.

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