According to Dawn, “The sources quoted Mr. Sharif as telling his guest that the PML-N would extend support to the PPP in forming the government without seeking any share in ministries.” Sharif said he had been supporting the PPP despite some reservations of some leaders of his party and “friends in other parties.” Dawn added, “The sources said that the two leaders agreed that the elections would be considered as ‘rigged‘ if the PPP and PML-N did not ‘secure top two positions.'”
The AFP reported that their comments “came after Human Rights Watch warned that Pakistan’s Election Commission had failed to investigate reports of campaign violations, threatening the validity of the parliamentary elections.” The news agency added, “The New York-based group said in a statement that the commission had ignored reports of arrests and harassment of opposition party members, and failed to act independently from Musharraf’s administration. HRW reportedly said that election candidates had so far filed more than 1,500 complaints of irregularities, but few have been investigated. On Tuesday, news sources also reported that tens of thousands of Pakistani troops have been deployed across Pakistan to provide security for next week’s elections amid a series of attacks. The AFP reported, “In a show of force ahead of Monday’s polls, army soldiers and paramilitary forces stood guard at government buildings and potentially sensitive areas of several major cities.”
Given how divisive party politics has been in Pakistan as well as the historic ‘bad blood’ between these two parties, the recent PML-N/PPP announcement is both significant and refreshing. However, could a coalition government be enough to tackle the many issues facing this country?