AAN Papers

A Lot to Worry About: Pakistan on the Eve of Elections


The election in Pakistan on 11 May 2013 is just around the corner – but it has not drawn much attention in international media. A new AAN Briefing Paper by Ann Wilkens, ‘A Lot to Worry About: Pakistan on the Eve of Its First Democratic Transition’, who is a member of AAN’s Advisory Board, looks at the challenges any winner of this election will face and which are much broader than election politics only and reach from radicalisation, sectarianism and domestic armed conflict to Pakistan’s economic crisis.

When it comes to Pakistan, the fact that one acute crisis ties into the next, almost seamlessly, appears to stand in the way of even medium-term analysis. Still, the parliamentary election on 11 May offers a prospect of having game-changing importance, i.e. moving Pakistan from a decades-long game where the democratic process was always interrupted, stalled or manipulated to one where democratically elected governments succeed one another.

In this AAN Briefing Paper, the author paints a picture of the environment surrounding the upcoming election. The paper is structured using a series of key questions about radicalisation and sectarianism, domestic armed conflict, the Pakistani military’s alleged strategic shift in its approach to Afghanistan, the economic crisis, natural disasters and centrifugal tendencies. The author employs journalistic methods, including interviews conducted in Pakistan during a trip earlier this year as well as extensive reading and research on the ground in previous years. The author does not, however, delve into the details of the election itself or the different agendas of the political parties participating in it.

AAN Briefing Paper 01/2013

Release date: 7 May 2013

Download the report here

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