KARACHI: Two surveys conducted by Gallup Pakistan and Pulse Consultant show that the upcoming elections in Gilgit-Baltistan will be highly contested between PTI and PPP. However, both surveys put PTI ahead of PPP, while PML-N placed third.
The survey shows that PM Imran Khan is the most popular leader in GB followed by Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Nawaz Sharif. About 30 percent of voters believe the election will be transparent and free from fraud.
Respondents were asked which political party they would vote for on November 15 (Election Day). In response, 27 percent of Gallup respondents said they would vote for PTI, 24 percent said PPP, and 14 percent said PML-N.
However, 35 percent of Pulse Consultant respondents said they would choose PTI, 26 percent chose PPP, and 14 percent said PML-N. The Gallup survey shows that there is only a 3 percent difference between PTI and PPP as first choice voters. In the Pulse survey this gap was 9 percent. But the trend is the same – PTI is the first choice, PPP second and PML-N third.
However, much will depend on the dynamics of elections on election day such as who can help voters to get out and vote for them. When asked who their favorite leader was, 42 percent of Gallup respondents named Imran Khan, 17 percent said Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and 15 percent said Nawaz Sharif. Only 3 percent named Maryam Nawaz as their favorite leader.
Pulse Consultants also received nearly the same answers to similar questions with 41 percent citing Imran Khan as the most popular leader, 23 percent citing Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and 16 percent citing Nawaz Sharif as the most popular leader.
Respondents were asked which political party they would vote for if national elections were to be held today (after giving GB the right to vote in Pakistan’s broad national elections). 35 percent said they would choose PTI, 31 percent chose PPP and 14 percent said they would vote for PML-N.
Respondents were asked whether the upcoming provincial elections would be fair and without fraud. According to the Pulse survey, 29 percent of voters believed the election would be transparent, 51 percent said they had nothing to say, while 20 percent said it would not.
Based on the Gallup survey, 31 percent said the elections would be completely fair, 29 percent said they would be fair to some extent, 28 percent said they had nothing to say, 7 percent said the elections would be fair to some extent while 5 percent said they would not fair at all.
Warehouse burdens, lack of hospitals, poor education, poor infrastructure and clean drinking water were the main problems cited by Gilgit-Baltistan respondents in two surveys. The Gallup survey shows that 66 percent of Gilgit-Baltistan residents support converting GB to a province, 28 percent against it.
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan People’s Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Saturday said he will not leave Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) before the 2020 elections and the government must arrest him to expel him from the area.
“What has Imran Khan given to the people of Gilgit-Baltistan in the last two years? Imran Khan turns around and he is a liar. Where are the one crore job opportunities and 50 lakh housing units that he promised during the 2018 election, ”he said during his speech at two corner meetings related to the GB elections in Darial and Thor. PPP Secretary General Syed Nayyar Hussain Bukhari, PPP Central Punjab President Qamar Zaman Kaira, Hasan Murtaza, Nafisa Shah and party candidates from GB 17, Diamir 3 Constituency Abdul Ghaffar Khan also attended.
Bilawal said Imran Khan violated election law by visiting GB and making an announcement.
He said the Gilgit-Baltistan people were not for sale because they were honorable and loyal people.
“Imran Khan is an interim, puppet and elected prime minister who will be sent packing with his corrupt people,” he said.
Bilawal said GB’s chief election commissioner also sided with the puppet government and spoke out against PPP.
He said that Imran Khan wanted to take the subsidy for GB that Zulfikar Ali Bhutto had given the public, but we didn’t allow it.
“Currently, every level of society protests against the puppet and the elected government, from female health workers to doctors and from traders to government employees,” he said.
The PPP chairman said when his party would form a government in Gilgit-Baltistan after the November 15 election, it would provide jobs for local people on the Diamir-Bhasha Dam project.
He said former president Asif Ali Zardari gave identity to the people of Gilgit-Baltistan, assembly, first governor, chief minister and 25,000 jobs to the people of Gilgit-Baltistan.
Inflation-hit people pray to get rid of the ruling regime, Kaira added.
LAHORE (Dunya News) – Senior leader of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Qamar Zaman Kaira said Thursday that the results of the Gilgit-Baltistan poll will mark the start of the departure of Prime Minister Imran Khan.
The PPP leader said in a statement that his party would overthrow Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Pakistan first from GB and then from the rest of the country. Inflation-stricken people pray to get rid of the ruling regime, he added.
Qamar Zaman Kaira said the poor were directly affected by the increase in prices for medicine, flour and sugar. Those who voted for PTI and those who voted for it are very sorry, he said, adding that people support the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) against the government.
(MENAFN – Gulf Times) The race over the White House between US President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden has made history even before voting day. More than 91 million people have cast their votes in the weekend before Election Day. That’s about 43 percent of all registered voters in the country and two-thirds of the total vote tally in the 2016 poll. Never before have so many people cast their ballots early using the incoming ballot to make sure their votes were counted. Apparently, the Americans believed that the two candidates made the right choice. But can the outcome of this contest be as important as Pakistan’s? When the Trump administration took office, bilateral relations between Washington and Islamabad were languid. They stayed that way for at least Trump’s first two years in office. But a reset was in the works at the end of 2018. And in July of the following year, Prime Minister Imran Khan sat in the White House as President Trump praised Pakistan’s efforts to bring peace to Afghanistan and announced its intention to increase bilateral trade by 20 times its current level. But big talk is fruitless, if any. Obsessed with trimming the runaway U.S. trade deficit, the Trump administration has taken no practical action to increase trade with its trading partners, including Islamabad. Pakistan’s exports to the US have continued to increase at the same rate for a decade, aid flows to Pakistan have shrunk while imports from the US have continued to increase. Expected investment flows, such as Exxon Mobil’s return to the domestic market after a two-decade absence, also appear uncertain. The company’s plans for offshore oil and gas exploration stalled and were withdrawn from the LNG terminal project. What’s more, there isn’t much desire for a deal that breaks doors, at least among Pakistani businesses. The Pakistan Business Council recommended a limited trade deal that could help US soybean farmers and Pakistani textile companies. The trade body does not support an all-encompassing free trade agreement that it says will open floodgates to imports but does not lead to a proportionate increase in overseas sales for Pakistani businesses. In short, diplomatic relations have improved greatly in the Trump era but they have not had a major positive impact on economic relations. Could this trend change significantly if Biden took the lead? After all, he differs from Trump in a number of policies. Trump lowered taxes for people and companies and wants to extend those cuts from 2025 to 2030. He has pulled the US out of the Paris Climate Agreement and weakened the World Trade Organization. On the other hand, Biden wants to raise taxes, especially for the rich and says his administration will honor US commitments to climate change. But the incumbent and the challenger are not very different in their views on foreign trade. President Trump appears much more confrontational with China. His first presidential campaign focused heavily on the scapegoat for Beijing because of the US’s declining competitiveness in manufacturing. During his tenure, Washington has imposed higher tariffs on Chinese exports worth more than $ 350 billion. The Trump administration is also aiming for Chinese tech giants like Huawei which are pioneers in global 5G technology. But be tough on China, not just Trump’s doctrine. Biden also showed no intention of being more lenient. Although he has said he wants to involve US allies in dealing with China, he has made no commitments to cancel US tariffs or other measures against China taken during the Trump era. Biden is also in no rush to sign trade deals or distribute more concessions to trading partners. He said he would prioritize increasing the competitiveness of domestic companies before signing more international trade deals. In a recent interview with German magazine Der Spiegel, Prime Minister Imran Khan was asked whom he would prefer to deal with as the next US president. Khan responded by describing the similarities between his own political career and his American counterpart. But he didn’t mention favorites. Is that a diplomatic response? Maybe, but as far as economic relations are concerned, it’s an accurate assessment.
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For four years, a nation that for generations has considered itself a defender of democracy and the world’s highest moral authority has had selfish and unreliable, sometimes vulgar, leaders.
Yet Australia, with its torturous if misplaced belief in American exceptionalism, has clung to historical allegiance, closely tied to a President who has gloriously trampled on his legacy.
Australia has grimaced and blushed through Donald Trump’s presidency.
He had hoped – prayed – that America’s “establishment” that Trump had so harshly condemned could bring the 45th President to understanding, only to be repeatedly disappointed.
But Trump 2016 isn’t just an obscene ad campaign. Unfortunately, for the United States and its loyal allies, Trump turned out to be a very close approximation of the image projected by his first presidential campaign.
The 2020 election will be the count of Americans for Trump’s first term in office, especially his handling of the global pandemic. But it will also be a referendum on his populist nationalism that has denied the US global leadership.
Where is America?
America’s influence has waned in Australian circles and our authoritarian superpower to the north is moving forward; Encroachment of Beijing’s territory too often goes unchecked by a negligent United States plagued by its own destruction; long decline that Trump has been chasing.
China’s assertiveness has grown in the past four years. His diplomacy has become tougher, his trading tactics are bolder, his repression in Hong Kong and austerity on the mainland, and cyber intrusions are on the rise.
In the Asia-Pacific, Australia needs allies too reckless Trump to offer consistently.
His inner isolationism was what Australia feared when then prime minister Malcolm Turnbull, just weeks after the 2016 presidential election, used a visit to Wall Street in New York to sharply reference “Pax Americana”.
It is the idea that the US has established a post-1945 international order through the projection of extraordinary economic and military power – “peace through force”, as Ronald Reagan put it.
Turnbull expressed Australia’s hope that Trump, if he wins, will ensure the US remains the protector of a rules-based global order.
That week in late September 2016, President Barack Obama used his farewell address at the United Nations to deliver a similar themed speech. As if Obama suspected Trump would win over Hillary Clinton.
“America has become a rare superpower in human history to the extent that it is willing to think beyond its narrow vested interests,” Obama told the UN General Assembly.
Trump did a lot of what he promised
It was never Trump’s bag. It was these narrow personal interests that shaped his views long before he became President.
Trump has come to the Oval Office promising to tear up trade, defense and economic agreements he believes are not in the United States’ interests. He did a lot of these things.
He withdrew the US from the 12 countries Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Paris climate pact. He tore up the Iran nuclear deal. All disappointed Australia.
Many of the instruments of international cooperation designed by the US and which often benefit Australia have been traded by Trump.
He has withdrawn and withdrawn the US from United Nations agencies, flirted with withdrawal from the NATO alliance and decided to end US relations with the World Health Organization.
Without principle, let alone a core mission, Trump is arming a populist appeal for a smaller America; one that involved himself less in world affairs.
He took advantage of Central America’s disillusionment with the country’s rising economic inequality and turned that resentment into a movement against globalization, internationalism and US military adventure.
Trump’s detractors, including some in the Morrison Administration, say he is infusing real-world values into elitist institutions.
He’s forced a rewriting of the NAFTA free trade agreement between the US, Canada and Mexico, negotiated by Republican President George HW Bush, to seek a better deal for America’s manufacturing sector.
And he’s imposing tariffs on Chinese exports, sparking a trade war that hurts US consumers and farmers.
Even his critics would agree that China must change its opaque trading practices and stop stealing its intellectual property. But they deny the modus operandi.
Uncertainty is Trump’s secret weapon, defenders say, especially against China’s Xi Jinping. But for Australia and America’s other allies, chaos isn’t always convincing.
That said, calling China will be Trump’s lasting legacy. Joe Biden, if he becomes the 46th president, will have to strengthen his stance on Beijing because even the US government has Trump’s antipathy towards Xi. Indeed, if Biden wins, China could test its resolve early.
Australia is learning fast
Trump’s “America First” mantra has become the opposite of his country’s post-World War II belief in its moral imperative to spread democracy and uphold human rights.
He brought the 1980s Art of Deal stance to the White House and his interactions with America’s most staunch allies.
“This is the worst deal ever,” grumbled Trump, chiding Malcolm Turnbull in February 2017, when the then prime minister was trying to ensure Trump was trapped by Obama’s agreement to take 1,250 asylum seekers from Australian offshore detention centers.
“This is the worst call so far,” Trump told Turnbull by telephone, according to a leaked transcript to the Washington Post.
Trump reluctantly accepts the agreement reached between Obama and Turnbull.
Australia is learning fast. When it comes to Trump, it’s best to always be vigilant, especially in trade.
When Trump declared in March 2018 that he would impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, Australia had to remind him the release agreement that Turnbull made with him eight months earlier on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, in the “Steel Cage”, a secure communications room.
This is a chilling moment in US-Australia relations under Trump. Even the handshake deal between the President and a prime minister, witnessed by six ministerial observers including Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Treasury Secretary Mathias Cormann, was nearly overthrown by Trump’s tyranny of temperament.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison enjoys a much better relationship with Trump than Turnbull does. Like Trump, Morrison is very critical of WHO’s handling of the COVID-19 outbreak.
The PM has also been outspoken about Chinese foreign interference, the “special and differential treatment” provided by China by the World Trade Organization and has warned against “negative globalism”.
But unlike Trump, whose instinct is to withdraw or unfreeze, Morrison is more inclined to increase engagement with the United Nations, WTO and other international bodies to counter China’s attempts to dominate the global agenda.
Regardless of method, their siding with China prompted the President to indulge the PM with last year’s state dinner. They are even visited the Ohio box factory together, though it is hardly fun to be a Republican electoral style rally.
America’s greatness may have passed
Keeping Trump within the fence of the US-Australia alliance has been a constant challenge. Joe Hockey, the former Australian ambassador to the US, shrewdly uses golf diplomacy. Luckily for Hockey – and Australia – Trump didn’t throw hurdles.
Despots and dictators never needed such extracurricular sporting interests to find time with Trump. It is he who has an appeal to them, whether it is Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan or North Korean “Rocket Man” Kim Jong Un.
Few can explain Trump’s relationship with Vladimir Putin, the Russian president who according to US intelligence agencies ordered industrial-scale interference in the 2016 presidential election.
And when offered the opportunity to back his own side, Trump treacherously lied.
“President Putin said it was not Russia. I see no reason why that happened,” Trump said. while sitting opposite Putin in Helsinki, when asked if he believed the US intelligence services or the Russian President was meddling with Moscow.
Trump is drawn to authoritarians, mistakenly believing that they – like him – are looking for that final deal, as the likes of Putin, Kim and Erdogan are pursuing something unconstrained by two consecutive four-year terms.
Trump has forced Australia to ask some fundamental questions about the security of our region. The United States represents the nation’s most important strategic friend, but under Trump, America has proven fickle and unreliable.
Barack Obama’s “pivot” to Asia-Pacific came too late. Scott Morrison’s Pacific “moves” have always been more of a “catch-up”, and China has done what any smart operator would: it fills the void.
And here’s the irony: Australia desperately wants America to be great again. But whether it’s Donald Trump or Joe Biden who wins on November 3, America’s greatness is probably over.