The last elections were held in February 18th 2008, two months after Benazir was killed by the ISI on the orders of the Americans. There has been no concessions to the so called ul-Qadri demonstrators since elections are being held exactly 5 years and 2 months after the last.
On the one hand it is good that Pakistan has completed a full term of a democratically elected government for the second time in its 65 year history, 35 years since the last (ZAB government 1972--1977).
However on the negative side the champagne bottles for the party can't be popping given the nature of the current civilian regime. The President has served prison time for corruption....8 years, so an ex-con is the head of state; that might be a world record that is unique to Pakistan. This ex-con has amassed $4 billion in Swiss accounts without doing any business, providing jobs for the people, but merely through corrupt wheeling and dealing government contracts, and the huge kick back from these tenders as personal favor. Given the nature of the President which is nationally recognized in Pakistan to the point of bitter jokes, he tended to surround himself with the same type of people (birds of a feather......). And he was brought into power by the USA, after his wife was killed. The Americans thought that they could, wrong foot the Pakistan Punjab military on the one hand, and gain greater access to Pakistan through the civilian governments corruption........For American security ops, destabilization of Pakistan, weakening Pakistan so that invasion could be entertained from Afghanistan, and if India could be persuaded at the same time...all well and good; seizing Pakistan's nuke for Israel.
So elections will be held before the middle of April, and they may or may not be fair.
Pakistan needs another civilian government for 5 more years despite the Zardari administrations performance.
The PPP should do very poorly in the next elections, anything else will look suspicious.
The Insaf party and the PML (N) will have a dominating position, should all go well.
There after the two center right parties can form a coalition, and Imran Khan can lead it as President, with Nawaz Sharif as PM.
This new administration will have to offer Pakistan something fundamentally different to the present PPP government.
1. Disengage from GWoT completely.
2. Stop the Pakistan Punjab military cooperating with the CIA for drone strikes into sovereign Pakistan territory.
3. Substantial cutting of foreign aid, reducing beggar dependency.
4. Install an efficient tax system that taxes the rich FINALLY, and increase the Budget to GDP ratio.
5. Make the Punjab Pakistan military more transparent, and manageable. Since they have been at the center of all Pakistan's problems make them more accountable.
6. The USA/UK have never been good for Pakistan, so Pakistan needs to distance itself from these two countries.
7. A decisive tilt FINALLY towards China, with Chinese military bases in Gwadar, and FATA. Simultaneous ejection of all USA/NATO personnel from Pakistan.
8. Disbanding the ISI.
If the new civilian administration is merely a repetition of the old, Zardari Mark II, then there will be no hope for Pakistan but a continuation of a failed state, and eventual final dissolution......obviously.
The problem with Pakistan is that its leaders are universally Macauley Brown sahib coolies. They still make heartfelt pathetic trips to the west to garner approval of their basic policies........that is a problem.
by Jason Ditz at antiwar.com
Just one day after top Pakistani officials ruled out
ever giving in to the “unconstitutional” demands of tens of thousands
of protesters in Islamabad, the government has announced a deal in which
it has effectively given the protesters everything they demanded.
Under the deal,
the ruling Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) has agreed to dissolve
parliament no later than March 16, setting the stage for elections
within 30 days of its dissolution. Democratic reforms have been agreed
to, and the government will negotiate with protest leaders on the makeup
of the election commission beforehand.
The agreement also includes a deal for protest leaders to pick a
“caretaker prime minister” to replace Raja Ashraf, who the Supreme Court
has ordered arrested for his role in a major corruption scandal, and a pledge by the government not to take any revenge against anyone involved in the demonstrations.
The protests have ended with the agreement to the deal, and Muslim
Cleric Tahir ul-Qadri, the main organizer, has left Islamabad, urging celebrating remnants of the rallies to “go home as peacefully as you came here.”