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`Pakistan passes political test with little fuss`

Last Updated: Saturday, June 23, 2012 - 18:37

Islamabad: Despite drama worthy of a political thriller, the system managed to elect a new prime minister with relatively little fuss. But the choice may be an "unwise one" because Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, an ex-power minister, was blamed for much of the country`s electricity woes, a leading Pakistani daily said Saturday.

"No assemblies were dissolved and no constitution violated, at least not by the khakis (army), who stayed inside their barracks this time," the Dawn said.

Noting the judiciary has sent home the then elected prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, the daily said it was a reminder the Pakistani democracy still treads on dangerous ground.

The Supreme Court had disqualified Gilani from office for contempt of court after he refused to open graft cases against President Asif Ali Zardari.

However, the maturity shown by the political parties after these events should be a reason for celebration for Pakistani democrats.

Be that as it may, the nomination of Ashraf was also a snub to millions of citizens who are suffering hours of loadshedding in the Pakistani summer, Dawn said.

"In the face of electricity cuts, the former water and power minister was an insensitive choice - and an unwise one, in an election year - sending a signal that the PPP (ruling Pakistan Peoples party) is unconcerned" about one of the country`s most serious problems.

Ashraf had served in Gilani`s cabinet from 2008 to 2011 as water and power minister.

To prove itself worthy of re-election, the party now needs to reorder its priorities and take some immediate and concrete action on the governance front. In particular, Ashraf will have to take noticeable steps to alleviate the energy problem, the daily added.


First Published: Saturday, June 23, 2012 - 18:37

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