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Imran Khan celebrates, rivals decry one-year anniversary of Pakistan's 2018 election

The battle lines have been clearly drawn in Pakistan as the country completes one year since the 2018 election which saw Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) winning the people's mandate.

Imran Khan celebrates, rivals decry one-year anniversary of Pakistan's 2018 election
Game of thrones (Reuters photo)

Pakistan's experiment with democracy has been shaky at best over the decades since independence from British rule. In a country where the Army and the secret services have called the shots for long, democratic processes like elections have almost always been seen with a generous dose of doubt. The last edition of the election here was a year ago when Imran Khan came to power and while he claims it has been new dawn in his country, his political rivals see no reason to celebrate.

The battle lines have been clearly drawn in Pakistan as the country completes one year since the 2018 election which saw Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) winning the people's mandate. Imran would go on to take oath on August 18 but has had to face numerous political and economic challenges in the months since. He has blamed most of the shortcomings of his government on the follies of past governments in the country. Such is the bitterness of political rivalry that he even blamed his preceding PMs of not acting enough against terror, during his recent visit to the United States.

Most of Imran's attack against opposition rivals, however, has been based on Pakistan's shambolic economy. The cricketer-turned-politician promised to put the economy back on track during his campaigning but political rivals like Bilawal Bhutto of Pakistan Peoples Party have accused him of failing to fulfil his promises. Several others like Maryam Nawaz, daughter of jailed former PM Nawaz Sharif, have gone to the extent of calling Imran a puppet of the Pakistan Army and the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).

Opposition leaders now plan to observe the one-year anniversary since 2018 election as a 'black day.' They plan to hold rallies across the country in a bid to generate public opinion against Imran and his party.

Imran, however, plans to counter by celebrating his achievements. According to Dawn, he has promised 'ruthless accountability.' "We have to transform all institutions which had been destroyed by thieves who only want to loot Pakistan," he was quoted as saying after landing in Islamabad from the US.

The situation in Pakistan remains as politically volatile as ever with leaders clamouring to throw accusations - and much - at each other.