The desired outcome was not achieved by the United States in Pakistan’s elections. It is evident that a hung parliament will ensue, with the Pakistan Muslim League and Pakistan Peoples Party forming a coalition government. However, the United States, known for advocating democracy and people’s rights, should have comprehended the public’s verdict in this election. The people of Pakistan have unequivocally favored Imran Khan’s PTI. All attempts to undermine Imran Khan’s candidacy have largely been unsuccessful. The US plan, as well as Donald Lu’s mission, have clearly faltered in Pakistan. What course of action will Pakistan take now? In the upcoming days, Pakistan’s political landscape will witness various upheavals. Given the overwhelming public support for Imran Khan, it is beyond doubt that he will emerge as the primary influencer in Pakistani politics. Consequently, he will likely adopt a more anti-US stance, bringing him closer to China. Furthermore, the army generals are well aware of Imran Khan’s popularity and will align themselves with the charismatic leader. This is because Pakistan’s military wields significant power and influence over political parties. Hence, it is inevitable that the Pakistan Army will rally behind Imran Khan. His immense popularity among the common people serves as a testament to this fact.
Nevertheless, some analysts may speculate that efforts to suppress Imran Khan will intensify, and further attempts will be made to impede his progress. However, such endeavors are unlikely to succeed. The relentless measures taken against Imran Khan, such as his arrest and hindrance of his party’s participation in the elections, have instilled a strong anti-army sentiment among the Pakistani populace.
The army comprehends the potential consequences if the people turn against them. Therefore, the Pakistani military junta will reconsider the entire situation. It is also worth considering the possible reaction from China, given its influence in the region. In such circumstances, it is needless to say that Pakistan, a struggling state seeking assistance from the IMF and grappling with a fragile economy, will face further challenges.
The United States lacked a true ally in this subcontinent, with the exception of Pakistan. However, if Pakistan is experiencing losses or if it can be inferred from the recent election that Pakistan has lost favor with the United States, then their reliance on Bangladesh will likely increase. The United States will likely shift its focus and pay more attention to Bangladesh. The question now is what kind of approach the United States will take towards Bangladesh after its unsuccessful endeavors in Pakistan. Thus far, the United States seems to have a very lenient and India-centric policy towards Bangladesh. Despite labeling the elections in Bangladesh as fraudulent, the United States is still expressing interest in collaborating with Bangladesh. Having learned from their experience in Pakistan, the Americans have surely come to realize that they cannot achieve their goals by imposing their will on the region.