Pakistan Prepares for Historic Election
Pakistanis head to the polls to vote on a new government Saturday, marking the first handover from one civilian government to another in the country’s history.
Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif is seen as the likely winner in the parliament elections. He has apparently been able to capitalize on failures of the outgoing coalition government to tackle the power crisis, economic challenges and the Taliban insurgency.
This week’s back-to-back bombings of two rallies of a leading Islamic party, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam, have strengthened views the Taliban are opposed to democracy and are targeting anyone taking part in the elections.
In the run up to the elections, the militants have killed more than 100 people and wounded scores more since late April.
Pakistan’s military says it is deploying thousands of troops to polling stations and counting centers to prevent the Taliban from disrupting the vote.