The International Crisis Group has said that a disputed referendum in Pakistan will undermine the legitimacy of the incoming government, leaving it ill-equipped to deal with political and economic instability.
The ICG report said that there is a risk of unrest in Pakistan as a result of the disputed polls, the general elections are being held in an environment of deep political polarization and a crackdown on the party of former Prime Minister Imran Khan.
The ICG said that the Election Commission should ensure that all parties, including the PTI, contest the elections and that all voters, especially women, can exercise their right to vote.
According to the report, clearly unequal competition will harm the next government. The Election Commission should try to ensure that all parties contest elections freely, the Supreme Judiciary should uphold fundamental freedoms of expression.
The report states that Pakistan’s politicians should reject attempts to manipulate elections by civil or military bureaucracies.