In a bid to navigate through Pakistan's political landscape, former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has proposed the formation of a unity government amidst the current scenario of a potentially hung parliament. The latest developments from the election front reveal independent candidates, supported by the incarcerated ex-premier Imran Khan's party, securing an unexpected victory with 92 out of the declared 226 seats.
Speaking at the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Central Secretariat in Lahore, Sharif, aged 74, emphasized his party's commitment to acknowledging the mandates of all political entities, including those independent candidates backed by Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party. The Election Commission's data disclosed results from 226 out of 265 constituencies, with independent candidates, largely supported by PTI, clinching 92 seats, while PML-N secured 64, Pakistan Peoples Party 50, Muttahida Qaumi Movement 12, and other parties securing 8 seats respectively.
In the endeavor to form a government, securing 133 seats out of 265 in the National Assembly is imperative. Additionally, a simple majority of 169 seats out of a total of 336, incorporating reserved slots for women and minorities, is essential.
Despite the electoral process being marred by allegations of irregularities, sporadic violence, and a nationwide mobile phone shutdown, Sharif, altering his previous stance of avoiding alliances, advocated for a collaborative effort among political factions to address Pakistan's challenges. He stressed the impracticality of recurrent elections and emphasized the imperative of unity to steer the nation towards stability.
Sharif's vision for a harmonious Pakistan extends beyond domestic affairs to fostering amicable relations with neighboring countries like India, Iran, and Afghanistan. To materialize this vision, he has tasked his younger brother and PML-N President, Shehbaz Sharif, to engage with leaders from Pakistan Peoples’ Party, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (F), and Muttahida Qaumi Movement for potential coalition formation.
In response, PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari's arrival in Lahore hints at possible negotiations with PML-N, although senior PPP leader Khursheed Shah expressed reservations about aligning with PML-N under Nawaz Sharif's premiership.
Amidst these developments, PTI Chairman Barrister Gohar Khan reiterated his party's resolve to independently form the federal government, dismissing prospects of alliances with PPP and PML-N. The electoral process, albeit marred by delays and allegations, is gradually unfolding, reflecting the complexities inherent in Pakistan's democratic journey.
(With Agency Inputs)