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> Conference on General Election 2007 – Prospects and challenges with the special focus on NWFP and Balochistan

Febuary 26, 2007
Hotel Serena,Islamabad


PILDAT hosted National Conference on Election 2007 - Challenges and Prospects with Special Focus on NWFP and Baluchistan. The conference is supported by the Canadian High Commission, Islamabad.


The Conference, a two-day affair, held 3 sessions during its first-day. In the session titled Current and Projected Political and Security Scenario, Prof. Dr. Adnan Sarwar, Chairman International Relations Dept; Peshawar University presented an overview of the political environment in the region (Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Central Asia) which may impact the election 2007. Prof. Dr. Mohammad Waseem believed that like the 2002 general election, the non-policy orientation of coming elections where voters are pre-disposed to the fact that ultimate decision-making will stay outside the elected legislature, the results are likely to repeat themselves. Prof. Dr. Saeed Shafqat presented various scenarios for the coming election, the most likely out of which appeared to be either the scenario of heavy mandate going to one political party under the wing of the military’s political engineering or the possibility of the proclamation of Indira Gandhi-style emergency in the country and delay of election which could prove fortuitous for holding the elections of the President by the current assemblies as they could serve as the Electoral College for electing the president.


In the second session, Analysis of Results of General Election 2002 in the NWFP and the Balochistan and Identification of Factors that Impacted the Results, Dr. Ijaz Shafi Gilani explained, through analysis of voting data and voting patterns over the years in the NWFP that it was not the anti-US feeling that MMA benefited from, but in fact it was the alignment of religio-political alliance that captured a percentage of vote that the right-of-centre has been getting in the NWFP. Mr. Sarwar Bari assessed the popularity of political parties through Local Government Election 2005 in the NWFP and Balochistan.


In the last session of the day on Possible Scenarios of Election 2007 at the National Level, Mr. Shafqat Mahmood spoke on the sub-topic of likely outcomes of the Election 2007 at the National Level while Syed Tallat Hussain identified issues likely to dominate the National scene during the Election 2007.


In the second-day of the conference on February 27, Performance of the Ruling Parties in the NWFP and the Balochistan Provinces were evaluated while their prospects for coming general election were assessed by Mr. Rahimullah Yusufzai, Political Analyst and Dr. Mansoor Akbar Kundi, Professor of Political Science, Balochistan University, while Mr. Mr. Salim Safi, Political Analyst, Mr. Shahzada Zulfiqar, Correspondent, Monthly Herald, Quetta and Mr. Siddique Baloch, Editor ‘Balochistan Express’ Quetta presented likely scenarios of general election in NWFP and Balochistan. In the last segment of the conference, Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Talat Masood, Former Federal Secretary & Senior Political and Security Analyst discussed possible impact of 2007 election outcome on regional security environment and Pak-Afghan and Pak-West Relations


These views were expressed by analysts and experts belonging to the NWFP and Balochistan provinces at the second-day of PILDAT National Conference on Election 2007 - Challenges and Prospects with Special Focus on NWFP and Baluchistan.


MPs belonging to various parties, analysts, media and foreign missions participated in the conference. The conference was supported by the Canadian High Commission, Islamabad