Taliban violence mars Pakistan's election

Reuters

Nawaz Sharif casts his vote in Pakistan's general election on May 11, 2013 in Lahore, Pakistan

Article Highlights

  • The Pakistani Taliban's impact on elections in Pakistan has already been clearly visible.

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  • TTP attacks have amplified the voice of conservative parties that claim to seek to part Pakistan from its alliance w/ US

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  • Already the TTP is looking to capitalize on the outcome of the election.

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On May 11, 2013, Pakistanis voted in an election that will mark the country’s first ever peaceful transition of power from one democratic government to the next, following the previous government’s unprecedented completion of its full five-year term. Pakistani voters displayed courage in coming out to vote in record numbers despite the real threat of militant attack. But the Pakistani Taliban appears to have had a tangible impact on the election’s outcome, particularly through its use of pre-poll violence. While the magnitude of the Taliban’s impact upon the final result can be debated, the fact that the group appears to have achieved an outcome it considers desirable, assisted by the prolific use of targeted violence, evidences Pakistan’s continuing instability and demonstrates the Taliban’s capacity to negatively influence the state’s trajectory.

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