With the votes now counted and new assembly members sworn in, Pakistan’s July 25th elections have ushered in a change of civilian governments and a new coalition led by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party and its leader Imran Khan. Opposing parties, particularly the previous national incumbent party, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, and the Pakistan People’s Party, have challenged the election results with claims of rigging, intimidation, and military influence.

On September 6th, USIP hosted two panels that explored the election results, the factors that influenced them, and looked forward towards their implications for the new government - its opportunities, challenges, and the future of Pakistan’s democracy. The first panel examined the main electoral outcomes, including the role of gender, political parties and opposition forces in the election. The second panel addressed the influence of actors outside the formal electoral system, including the role of the judiciary, military, religious parties, and electoral violence dynamics. Speakers included academic experts and policy professionals.


9:30am – 11:00am - Panel 1: Analyzing the Main Electoral Results 

  • Colin Cookman, Program Officer, U.S. Institute of Peace
  • Sarah Khan, Postgraduate Associate, Yale University
  • Mariam Mufti, Assistant Professor, University of Waterloo
  • Sahar Shafqat, Professor, St. Mary’s College of Maryland
  • Moderator: Jumaina Siddiqui, Senior Program Officer, U.S. Institute of Peace

11:15am – 12:45pm - Panel 2: Analyzing the Non-electoral Factors 

  • Sahar Khan, Visiting Research Fellow, CATO Institute
  • Yasser Kureshi, PhD Candidate, Brandeis University
  • Niloufer Siddiqui, Assistant Professor, University of Albany
  • Joshua White, Associate Professor, Johns Hopkins University
  • Moderator: Tamanna Salikuddin, Senior Program Officer, U.S. Institute of Peace

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