Election 2024 signifies people unshakable trust in democracy: Experts

PESHAWAR: The Election 2024 results have signified the people's unshakable trust in the electoral process as well as the strong parliamentary system and have pinned high expectations on their elected representatives to address their problems besides taking the country forward on the road to progress and development, experts said."The people of Pakistan delivered the verdict on February 8, 2024, and now it is up to elected representatives, institutions and political leadership to accept their decision imperative to carry the ship of democracy forward and take the country out of the shabby economic situation," said Professor Dr A.H.Hilali, ex-Chairman Political Science Department, University of Peshawar while talking to reporter on Sunday.The split electoral mandate which was given to mainstream political parties on February 8 is a manifestation of pluralism in the country's politics besides signifying that people of Pakistan wanted resolution of their problems and country's challenges through a national go vernment represented by all political parties, he said."Pakistan is currently facing enormous challenges including shabby economy, terrorism, security issues, price hike, inflation and climate change and no political party can address it single-handedly, and that is why people of Pakistan had given split mandate to political parties for resolution of these issues amicably," he said.By taking lessons from the past; he said that political leadership should immediately sit together and form a coalition government as quickly as possible to take the country out of economic challenges by accepting each other's mandate wholeheartedly.Independent candidates have so far won 93 seats at the National Assembly, 116 in Punjab Assembly, 11 in Sindh Assembly, 83 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly while PML-N's clinched 77 seats at National Assembly, 137 seats in Punjab, 10 in Balochistan and five seats in KP Assembly.PPP has secured third position with 54 NA seats, 10 seats in the Punjab Assembly, 84 in the Sindh Assemb ly, 11 in the Balochistan Assembly and five in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly till the filing of this report.Likewise, MQM Pakistan will play a key role in the formation of a coalition government in centre after winning 17 NA seats and 28 seats in Sindh Assembly, he said.Similarly, six seats in the National Assembly, 22 seats in Punjab, 3 in Sindh and 5 seats in Balochistan have been clinched by independent candidates while JUIF bagged four seats in National Assembly, 10 seats in Balochistan and eight seats in KP.PMLQ has bagged three seats in National Assembly and 7 seats in Punjab Assembly while two each NA seats of Istehkam Pakistan Party and Balochistan National Party will also matter in coalition government."Election 2024 results have signified that votes banks of all political parties in their respective provinces were intact," said Professor Dr. Ejaz Khan, former Chairman International Relations Department, University of Peshawar while talking to reporter.He said Election 2024 which has been closely observed by the international community was largely endorsed which was a positive sign.Dr Ejaz Khan said that the suspension of mobile services in some areas with sensitive polling stations has greatly helped the holding of peaceful elections in the country including erstwhile Fata.The polling remained peaceful for which our security forces deserved appreciation.In the wake of an increase in literacy rate and mushroom growth of social media in the country, he said people have rejected six former Chief Minister Khyber Pakthunkhwa including QWP Chief Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao, PTIP Chairman Pervez Khattak, Mehtab Abbassi, PTI-P Vice Chairman Mahmood Khan, JUIF leader Akram Durrani and Central Vice President ANP Amir Haider Hoti.Aftab Sherpao has been defeated on NA 23 Charsadda-I, Pervez Khattak on NA34 Nowshera-I, Mehtab Abbasi at Abbottabad, Mahmood Khan at Swat, Akram Durrani at Bannu and Amir Haider Hoti on NA 22 Mardan.Haider Hoti has resigned from central vice President of Awami National Party after losing the election and announced to serve the party as a political worker.The people also rejected the leadership of seven political parties including Sirajul Haq of the JIP, Pervez Elahi of PTI, Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed of AML, Jahangir Tareen of IPP, Pervez Khattak of PTIP, Aftab Sherpao of QWP and Aimal Wali Khan of ANP in election 2024.Pervez Khattak's sons Abrahim Khattak and Ismail Khattak and son-in law Dr Imran Khattak also lost PK and NA seats respectively.Similarly, PTI Chairman, Barrister Gohar Ali Khan who contested the election as an independent candidate has won from Buner, JUIF Central Ameer Maulana Fazlur Rehman from Paseen, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari from Larkana, PMLN Quaid Nawaz Sharif from Lahore and PMLN President Shehbaz Sharif from Lahore have secured victory.The other noted personalities that won elections included former Speaker Asad Qaiser from Swabi, Ali Amin Gandapur from DI Khan, Maryam Nawaz from Lahore, Asif Zardari from Benazirabad (Nawab Shah), Noor A lam Khan from Peshawar and Akhtar Mangal from Balochistan.In Peshawar, independent candidates have clinched four seats out of five of the National Assembly and six out of 13 Provincial Assembly seats in Election 2024.Except former MNA Noor Alam Khan of the Jamiat ulema-e-Islam (JUIF) who clinched NA 28 Peshawar-1, the independent candidates including Aamir Ayub secured victory in NA 29 Peshawar-II, Ms Shandana Gulzar in NA 30 Peshawar-III, Arbab Sher Ali in NA 31 Peshawar IV and Asif Khan on NA 32 Peshawar V.Ms Shandana who is the daughter of former Commissioner Peshawar, Gulzar Khan (late) was voted to power after his father's social services.Asif Khan outclassed veteran politician and former Federal Minister for Railways Haji Ghulam Ahmed Bilour.Former MNA Arbab Sher Ali retained his seat defeating former Minister for Communications Dr Arbab Alamgir Khan on NA 31 Peshawar IV.Independent candidates, who won six among thirteen provincial assembly constituencies include Arbab Wasim on PK 73, Sameeu llah Khan on PK 76, Sher Ali Afridi on PK 77, Syed Qasim Ali Shah on PK 81, Mina Khan on PK 83 and Fazal Elahi on PK 84.Karamat Ullah Chagarmati and Arbab Zarak Khan of Pakistan People Party also won PK 72 and PK 80 respectively.The candidate of Awami National Party, Arbab Usman won the provincial assembly seat on PK 75. Arbab Usman was the elder son of former Agriculture Minister Arbab Ayub Jan (late).Ejaz Khan of JUI won PK 47 and Arbab Wasim of PTI Parliamentarian was declared winner on PK 73. Jalal Khan of Pakistan Muslim League won PK 79 and Zahir Khan of the same party was declared victorious in PK 78.Syed Noman Bukhari advocate said under the law, independent candidates after winning elections are required to join a political party within a specified peroid before forming the government.In 2018 election, he said that several independent candidates of KP Assembly have joined Balochistan Awami Party and joined the coalition government.Noman advocate said that joining of a political party by i ndependent candidates was a legal requirement to obtain perks and privileges besides women-reserved seats.Taimur Salim Jhagra told reporters that consultation on all issues including legal and constitutional obstacles have been started and all decisions would be taken with consultation by the leadership.The political experts said that people wanted employment, quality education and better health services and pinned high expectations from newly elected representatives to address these challenges besides putting the country on the road to prosperity.