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Imran Khan Betrayed by the Pakistani Coalition’s Election Rigging

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Pakistan has been facing a troubling few weeks with the elections ending in a very controversial way leading to the formation and subsequent leadership of the coalition between the Pakistan Muslim League and the Pakistan People’s Party as they elect Shehbaz Sharif as prime minister despite the public’s outrage and demand for Imran Khan. Imran Khan, the man imprisoned for 10 years on charges of treason and corruption, had the nation vouch for his release and reinstatement into the election race, but the people in power suppressed his voice and moved to further dissipate his PTI party. Weeks of perceived elections rigging and attempts by the Pakistani military to undermine the democratic process through unabashed means like suspending phone services and refusing any of the PTI members to run in the election under the PTI banner, only helped to fuel the wrath of the Pakistani citizens as they recognize and refuse this blatant injustice. The ruling coalition now faces the impossible task of reversing the public’s opinion of their weak assembly and shameful leadership.

The brazen power grab by the Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) and the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) coalition represents a dagger through the heart of Pakistani democracy. In the darkness of night, the failed dynasts cut a backroom deal to defy the will of the people and deny Imran Khan his rightful leadership of the nation. Their so-called “coalition” is nothing more than a cabal of mandate thieves plotting to suffocate the hope voiced by millions of Pakistanis who voted for real change under Khan’s bold leadership.

The Pakistani people decisively reject the stale musical chairs between the Bhutto and Sharif dynasties who treat the nation as their personal fiefdom. Khan offered a visionary alternative that resonated across Pakistan. By conspiring to block him from the premiership, the coalition betrays national aspirations for accountable governance. Their lust for power eclipses concern for the people.

The unjust coalition’s robbery of the election comes subsequently after the military’s shameful attempts to engineer the election have backfired laughably. Their strategy of suppressing voter turnout to enable vote manipulation failed in the face of overwhelming public support for Imran Khan. Despite suspending mobile services under false pretexts, the people’s determination to vote for real change could not be broken.

Suspending services on vague security grounds is a flimsy pretext. The real motive is obvious – to handicap Imran Khan and his PTI party then to facilitate blatant and shameful election engineering. Blocking communication between the PTI and the public unveils panic at looming defeat for the establishment’s handpicked parties.

Tampering with results under cover of this mobile blackout insulted the Pakistani people’s intelligence. But rigid loyalty to Imran Khan overcame this flimsy obstacle, as voters braved obstacles to support their constitutional right to choose leaders.

The early PTI advantage revealed the limits of the military’s repressive tactics. All the crackdowns and harassment failed to shake the people’s enthusiasm for Khan’s vision. Suspending mobiles could not stop voters from flocking to finally make their voices heard.

PTI claims that the true number won by them is 154 seats, but dozens of seats were taken away and stolen in widespread vote rigging and manipulation. The US, UK and EU had raised concerns over the alleged extensive tampering of votes and the delay in the announcement of the winner of the election.

As first results showed PTI’s landslide win, panic set in among the military leadership. Their supposed puppet Sharif had failed to mobilize support despite returning from exile in a deal with the generals. In contrast, Khan’s reform agenda inspired passionate mass appeal and support even from behind bars.

Mass ballot rigging was hastily attempted but failed to reverse the pro-PTI tide. The people’s mandate prevailed over brazen manipulation. In the process, the military’s standing plunged to an all-time low. Their meddling achieved nothing but freshly inciting public wrath.

When manipulation escalated after the PTI took the lead, Pakistani patriots erupted in outrage. Allegations of halted vote counting and barred access reveal presumptuous rigging. Justice demands a full investigation and a vote recount with impartial observers guaranteeing utmost integrity.

The subsequent delays and inconsistencies in finalizing results displayed desperation to halt PTI’s victory march. Allegations of systemic irregularities in favor of establishment parties unveil the blatant lengths taken to overturn the election and silence the masses in support of one Imran Khan. But the people see through such chicanery.

PTI’s momentum has overcome tremendous odds through the campaign. Banning mobile access was the last desperate card to play, yet still could not stop the people powering Khan’s victory. Such repression only amplifies his support.

Unfortunately, at the end of the disgraceful and dishonourable elections, the military got what it fought so blatantly and undemocratically for.

While PTI won the most seats, the undemocratic imposition of a PML-N-led coalition represents the last gasp efforts of disgraced elites to cling to power. But this alliance of failed dynasties only hardens public opposition.

Shehbaz Sharif’s nomination for prime minister defies reality and truth. As if Pakistanis would accept this blatant insult after thoroughly rejecting the Sharif political machine at the ballot box. Installing a carbon copy of the widely despised Nawaz Sharif demonstrates the coalition’s warped detachment from reality.

Coalition leader Zardari has the audacity to call for reconciliation with PTI and inclusion in government. But he offers Khan the scraps after working diligently to steal PTI’s hard-earned victory. Their belated overture is laughably disingenuous.

But how does this unholy coalition leading the country fare in front of every Pakistani citizen? How can they gain support form the masses after their blatant and unshameful tactics were left bare for the world? The answer is simple, this already weak coalition is going to be weaker as it faces constant scathing criticisms from the people of Pakistan.

By hijacking the people’s will, the coalition has ripped the facade off Pakistani democracy. The system stands exposed as an empty shell manipulated by dynastic elites and military puppeteers.

If political elites think they can get away with hijacking Pakistan’s future, they underestimate the passion behind Imran Khan’s vision. His followers will not accept this betrayal meekly. Systematic election theft will be met with nationwide civil disobedience.

The people yearn for The coalition’s reign to be short-lived as their treachery hastens their eventual downfall.

False claims of victory by Nawaz Sharif epitomize the arrogance of dynastic elites. Despite PTI winning the most seats, he outrageously declared himself the winner and claimed the right to form a government that proceeded to out Imran Khan’s people and supporters away from leadership. This blatant disregard for the people’s will exposes his disdain for democracy.

Sharif’s suggested coalition is an undemocratic pact between failed and rejected parties loathed by the public. Their past joint rule brought incompetence and economic crisis. Handing them power again despite PTI’s lead delegitimizes the electoral process in the eyes of many patriotic Pakistanis.

PTI candidates like Shoaib Shaheen are heroically challenging fraudulent results in court.

Shoaib Shaheen claims fraud and deceit as he attempts to seek legal recourse in regards to votes being tampered with and added to his political rivals.

His case is one of many, and acts to further demonstrate the military and the Coalition’s attempts at undermining the Pakistani democracy and the will of the Pakistani people.

The Pakistani people see the system colluding to deny them the future voted for. But no matter the underhanded tactics deployed, PTI supporters will never abandon Khan. His movement grows stronger through persecution.

This is a moment of truth for the Pakistani people. We can settle for scraps tossed by discredited dynasties or stand firm for the hope embodied by Imran Khan. Empty stomachs and undeterred courage paved the way for what seemed like a fair and just PTI win. However, the establishment had something else to say about that. They changed the numbers, silenced the voices and crushed the hope of every freedom loving Pakistani.

The coalition’s cynical ploys must now be met with even louder protests demanding Khan be freed and to implement his mandate. A compromised leadership betrays our dignity.

The path ahead is difficult but clear – only Imran Khan can lead Pakistan to its destiny as an independent, just and self-reliant nation answering to no one but the Pakistani people.

Through these hardships we shall remember Imran Khan’s words when he was at his lowest after being arrested on fraudulent and unjust charges. Trying to rally his supporters to vote and express their opinions peacefully he stated “My Pakistanis! This is your war and this is your test that you have to take revenge for every injustice”. Although the voting didn’t go as planned due to interference, these words should be itched onto every Pakistani’s heart as they soldier on and continue to voice their opinions.

The people yearned for a new dawn heralded by Imran Khan’s leadership. Their collective dream has proven more powerful than any shameless rigging. And though the battle was lost, the war rages on. No tyranny can extinguish the flame of hope ignited by PTI’s vision for national renewal. The current system’s days are numbered.

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