Pak analysts predicts hard times ahead of polls

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Karachi, Feb 16 : Political observers in Pakistan are predicting a hard time ahead for the country after the February 18 elections, even going to the extent of saying that power equations could change.

"In absence of a transparent election commission, expect state-supported rigging for favourable results, the post-election scenario would be so terrible that one cannot even imagine it," the Daily Times quoted the Chairman of the Mass Communications Department at the Urdu University of Karachi, Professor Tauseef Ahmed Khan, as saying.

Khan said there is a good chance of the PPP sweeping the polls.

"If the PPP raises the issue of the supremacy of parliament, the issue of 58(2) B would come up and that would not be acceptable for the president and his supporters who have always worked as subordinators," Khan added.

Veteran politician Mairaj Mohammad Khan predicted that the country could face another crisis, including a hung parliament.

"They [the rulers] cannot afford to fully share power with a pro-people party such as the PPP and they will try their best to include as many parties in the next parliament to thwart the supremacy of the PPP," Mairaj told the Daily Times.

He said he is doubtful about free elections taking place.

"How can you expect fair, transparent and impartial elections in the presence of a judiciary that came into existence after taking oath under the Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO) and in such circumstances?" he questioned.

"Even if Musharraf includes the PPP in the next parliament, there will be no actual power sharing," he added.

When PPP's Taj Haider was informed about Mairaj's opinion, he said that if the PPP swept elections, the results would be acceptable to the Government. It would have to respect the wishes of the people. If the rulers did not agree to share power, then there would be state of anarchy, he added.

"We don't want a civil war, and we don't want more damage, as enough damage has already been done to the country. We will ensure the smooth transfer of power," Haider added.

ANI

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