Free and fair polls in Pak, wonder away!

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Dubai, Feb 16: Pakistan expatriates in the UAE have joined the people of that country and the international community in their wait for the February 18 elections in the South Asian nation but are sceptical about the polling being free and fair.

Fears of rigged elections, a hung parliament and an unstable government looms large in the minds of Pakistani nationals working in the Emirate. Insurance broker, Hasan Mujtaba Kazmi, said, ''I see a hung parliament emerging out of the elections, which means a weak government, unable to take strong decisions required to correct things gone awkward, on political as well as economic front.'' The weak government would be unable to make constitutional amendments and the core issues of law and order, political stability and economic growth would continue to haunt the people of the South Asian nation, he added.

Rigging will strengthen the powerful head of state, who wants to remain powerful, call the shots and influence the new parliament.

''The majority of voters are not very enthusiastic about elections, which means the voter turnout would remain low, which is not a good sign for the democracy to thrive.'' the Khaleej Times quoted businessman Anis Abbas Zaidi as saying.

There was a need to send a strong political leadership to Parliament, with a clear political and economic agenda to implement, which was possible if people of Pakistan cast their votes, social worker Chaudhary Arshad Hussain said.

Only a strong government could tackle the issues of terrorism, rule of law and restoration of judiciary's independence, he said.


UNI

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