A Pakistani villager casts his vote at a polling station during general election in Mohri Pur, some 60 kilometres from the central Pakistan city of Multan on July 25, 2018. Pakistanis vote on July 25 in elections that could propel former World Cup cricketer Imran Khan to power, as security fears intensified with a voting-day blast that killed at least 30 after a campaign marred by claims of military interference. / AFP PHOTO / SS MIRZA

This week witnessed a big victory for the people of Pakistan: a victory for democracy. This despite the fact that there were many conspiracies against Pakistan and there were eight deadly terrorist attacks within only 20 days before this Wednesday’s elections.

Domestic and international forces were engaged in sabotaging the elections and derailing Pakistan’s democratic journey. But the brave people of Pakistan defeated all of these enemies.

Pakistan is a democratic country and every five years there are general elections where the people choose their government by free and fair voting. A country of 220 million, it has diversified political parties. There are around 200 parties, though some of them are very small and their existence may be negligible. Throughout the history of Pakistan only s few big parties have played major roles.

The official results have not been announced yet, but Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) appears to be ahead of all other parties. It is likely that PTI will form the next government and rule the country for the next five years. Imran Khan is the chairman of the PTI and likely to be the prime minister of Pakistan.

In Pakistan’s parliamentary system, the elected prime minister is the leader of the country, while the president is a ceremonial head of state only. This is similar to the British system and is followed by many former British colonies or member states of the Commonwealth of Nations.

Imran Ahmed Khan Niazi was born in Mianwali, Punjab province, on November 25, 1952, to Ikramullah Khan Niazi Shermankhel and Shaukat Khanum (Burki). A quiet and shy boy in his youth, Khan grew up in a family with four sisters, he being the only son. Although his family settled in Lahore, he still considers his background Pathan, according to his autobiography.

Imran attended Aitchison College and the Cathedral School in Lahore until he finished middle school, then entered the Royal Grammar School in Worcester, England, before completing his formal schooling with an undergraduate degree in economics from Keble College, Oxford. While at university, he was the captain of the Oxford University cricket team in 1974. He and his mother, Shaukat Khanum, come from a cricketing family. He is the finest cricket player Pakistan has ever produced. He played Test cricket for Pakistan, and earned the World Cup for Pakistan in 1992.

PTI was founded on April 25, 1996, in Lahore. The party won its first seat in Parliament during the 2002 elections, when Imran Khan won the National Assembly seat for Mianwali in his home district. The stated goal of its founder Imran Khan is to ensure justice for all, as he believes that a just society has the best chance to succeed.

At the core, PTI just wants to make sure that we Pakistanis as a nation are the best version of ourselves and able to make a name for ourselves in this world. Khan believes that Pakistan is a very special country, full of natural resources and full of earnest and intelligent people. He is committed in bringing political stability through credible democracy, transparency in government and accountability of leadership.

PTI believes in pursuing a foreign policy based on a nationalist agenda, which it believes will safeguard all of Pakistan’s national interests and promote greater regional cooperation. The party aims to forge stronger relationships with neighboring countries, but not at the cost of Pakistan’s national sovereignty or territorial integrity.

PTI hopes to restore Pakistan’s economic and political sovereignty after coming to power. The party would make the Kashmir issue a top priority and would try and solve the issue permanently so that Pakistan no longer has any border or territorial disputes with any of its neighbors.

It is believed that during the tenure of PTI, Pakistan will regain its international reputation and will be a contributor to peace, harmony and development globally.

Khan is against corruption and the status quo. He firmly believes in merit and is totally against nepotism. He is supported by Pakistani intellectuals in the fields of economics, science and technology, health, education, environment, industry, agriculture and others. It is expected that he will rule the country with better governance than in the past and Pakistan may emerge as a rapidly growing economy.

PTI values the traditional friendship between Pakistan and China. Under the instruction of its chairman Imran Khan, PTI has established a “Pakistan-China Cooperation Unit,” which will enhance the two countries’ strategic cooperative partnership, especially in the domains of economy, trade and technology. Khan has appointed Dr Shahzad Waseem as head of this unit. The unit has been delegated high powers and will be operating under Khan directly.

PTI is a strong supporter of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Khan has been in touch with the Chinese ambassador in Pakistan and also had meetings with visiting Chinese dignitaries. He visited China in 2011 and met with the leadership of the Chinese government. He is a great admirer of China’s rapid development, especially impressed with its widespread eradication of poverty.

Pakistan may prosper under his leadership and regain its lost status in the club of fastest-developing countries in the world.

Zamir Awan

Professor Zamir Ahmed Awan is a sinologist at the National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST) Chinese Studies Center of Excellence, Islamabad, Pakistan. Posted to the Pakistani Embassy in Beijing as science counselor (technical affairs) from 2010-16, he was responsible for promoting cooperation between Pakistan and China in science, technology, and higher education.

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