Pakistan's Elections Won't Dilute the Military's Influence

Jul 24, 2018 | 09:30 GMT

Imran Khan's Pakistan Tahrik-e-Insaf party is among the three major contenders trying to win Pakistan's general elections on July 25.

Imran Khan's Pakistani cricketer-turned-politician and head of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan (C) gestures to supporters during an election campaign rally in Charsadda district, in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province on July 5, 2018.



  • The defining feature of Pakistani politics is the fraught relationship between the government’s elected leaders and the army.
  • Any party in power must therefore accommodate military interests while cautiously seeking ways to expand its influence without antagonizing the generals.
  • It's unlikely that the military will cede its authority to the civilians no matter who wins, even as the chances of another coup have lowered.

On July 25, Pakistanis will vote in elections for the country's federal and provincial assemblies that will determine how the country will address a number of issues, including a worsening trade imbalance, domestic terrorism, energy shortages and water scarcity. The elections will also influence the balance of power between the civilian government and Pakistan's politically powerful army that will weigh heavily on how the country handles its deteriorating relationship with its once-staunch ally, the United States, and pursues its rivalry with archrival India....

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