Pakistan’s elite to elect new president as Imran Khan takes the reins

Pakistan’s elite to elect new president as Imran Khan takes the reins

Pakistan will hold its presidential elections today. The position is ceremonial and is not elected directly by the people, but

pakistan president election imran khan

Photo: Aamir Qureshi/AFP

Pakistan will hold its presidential elections today. The position is ceremonial and is not elected directly by the people, but by the Electoral College, comprised of six government bodies: the Senate, National Assembly and each of the four Provincial Assemblies.

This follows Pakistan’s July 25 general election, which resulted in the election of Imran Khan as prime minister. While many have voiced hope about Khan’s promised ‘New Pakistan’, which calls for a new approach to engaging internationally, change on the foreign policy front remains uncertain.

Khan has taken a doveish approach to India, calling for the normalisation of relations and citing the potential trade benefits for both nations. The resolution of Pakistan-India tensions is contingent upon the settlement of the Kashmir crisis, a protracted conflict occurring since 1947 which remains existential for both countries.

These ambitions are inhibited by the opposition to soft approaches from Pakistan’s deeply entrenched military establishment. Arguably, Kashmir is most existential for the military’s legitimacy, which will be eroded if popular perception of India as an external threat were to diminish. Expect, however, the appointment of a new president to have little bearing upon Khan’s India ambitions.

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