Pakistan has a new prime minister in waiting


The country of Pakistan held elections last week to choose its next prime minister.

Pakistani citizens do not vote for the prime minister directly. Instead, they vote for members across different parties to serve the National Assembly. The party that wins a majority in the assembly will form a government and then appoint a prime minister.

Last week’s election was contested by many parties but 2 of the front runners were the party currently in power, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party, and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party.

The days leading up to the election were filled with violence and controversy. The military deployed 371,000 soldiers to maintain discipline and order.

Eventually, 50 million Pakistanis came out to vote inspite of terrorist attacks. Cricketer turned politician, Imran Khan’s party PTI won 116 out of 272 seats and declared victory on National television. But he is a prime minister in waiting as his party did not win a majority in the national assembly to form a government.

Currently, his party is in the process of forming partnerships with some minority parties to get the maximum number of seats required (137 seats). If all goes well, Imran Khan will be taking his oath as the next Prime Minister on 11th Aug 2018.

Khan said in a televised speech. “We will run Pakistan like it’s never been run before.”

Who is Imran Khan?

Imran Khan grew up in Lahore and went to Oxford University in England to pursue politics and economics. He was a talented all-rounder cricketer and eventually returned to Pakistan to play for the national cricket team. The high point of Khan’s cricket career was when he captained Pakistan at the 1992 Cricket World Cup in Melbourne, Australia. He joined Pakistani politics in 1994 after retiring as a cricketer. He founded the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party. Since then he has been working hard to work for the country. He wants to reduce poverty in Pakistan by creating a welfare state, where the government will provide homes, education, medical help and jobs for the poor.

Why are these elections important?

Pakistan was founded in 1947 after it declared independence from British India. It was created as an independent homeland for Indian Muslims and the first country to be based on a religion, Islam.

In its 70-year history, the military (armed forces) has exercised a lot of power. It has successfully seized power from the government and has, directly and indirectly, controlled the country for years.

In fact, none of the 15 prime ministers in Pakistan have finished a full 5-year term.

These 2018 elections were very important because it is the second time in Pakistan’s political history that the incumbent or current ruling party will transfer power to another party without any military interference. 

The world’s eyes are on Imran Khan. We wish him luck!

Written by Shruti Divecha and Biyash Choksey

Shruti was a graphic and textile designer by profession till her curiosity filled daughter pulled out the writer inside her. She writes stories, GK nuggets and teaches recycled crafts to children.

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