According to the Economist, PM Khan may win the 2023 elections, making him Pakistan’s first Prime Minister to serve two consecutive terms. The Economist makes the prediction in a detailed article titled Pakistan got its way in Afghanistan. Now what?
While this may seem to be a victory, important to note, the article heavily criticizes PM Khan. It also talks about how the people in Pakistan were initially displeased with PM Khan’s governance.
Furthermore, the article accuses PM Khan of ignoring certain aspects of Pakistan’s close ties with the Taliban. Nevertheless, it still maintained that the outcome in Afghanistan seems to be good for PM Khan.
Read more: Afghanistan on its way to further turmoil?
Why the Economist thinks PM Khan will win next elections
According to the article, PM Khan will not win the next elections due to his leadership. In fact, PM Khan will win owing to a series of events that make him the only candidate. One of them is Afghanistan.
Prime Minister Imran Khan has always been a strong, “defender of Pakistan’s Afghan policy.” On several occasions, he detailed heavy sacrifices made by Pakistan due to the situation in Afghanistan.
As a result, this made him garner public support.
Many Pakistanis believe that the Taliban take over in Afghanistan is a favorable development. Moreover, according to a survey conducted by Gallup & Gilani Pakistan, 55% of Pakistanis claim that they are happy that the Taliban will now rule Afghanistan.
Due to this sentiment, the article states that “Pakistan’s victory-by-proxy in Afghanistan now makes Mr. Khan look prescient.”
In response to the following question:
"Do you want the kind of Islamic government that the Taliban have brought to Afghanistan in Pakistan as well?”
55% Pakistanis said yes, while31% said no.
— Gallup Pakistan (@GallupPak) October 7, 2021
Secondly, the article acknowledges Pakistan’s success at managing the pandemic.
“It helps, too, that for reasons that are not yet understood, covid-19 appears to have hit Pakistan far less hard than its neighbors. The death rate per million in Iran is more than ten times Pakistan’s. Criticized in spring last year for his decision not to impose a sweeping lockdown as India did, Mr. Khan now appears wise,” the article notes.
Pakistan’s Covid success increased PM Khan’s approval rating.
“An opinion poll at the end of August gave the prime minister a 48% approval rating, his highest yet, ” the Economist.
Lastly, the article states that since the opposition parties have been “reduced to regional rumps,” there is no one significant to stand against PM Khan in the next election, in 2023.