Pakistan went to the polls yesterday, in a tense atmosphere, with the eyes of the world on it. The cream (such as is it is) of the Indian media were across the border reporting live from around the country. The day ended with remarkably little violence, and counting is under way. At one point NDTV's Burkha Dutt was pontificating (in front of a line of Pakistani men in their shalwar-kameezes looking on bemusedly) about the low turnout. "Free and fair might mean something else if hardly anyone turned out." Of course, an election boycott (by one of the parties) is one thing: however a low turnout in of itself is not sufficient grounds on which to question the legitimacy of the election! And what did-she mean by "low-turnout?" 40%! This is low by South Asian standards, but much much higher than in the world's most prominent democracy! By this benchmark, all American elections could be called into question!
In the lead up to the elections, Christianity Today published two interesting pieces on Pakistan and the situation of the tiny Christian Minority: Taliban Targets and Disenfranchised in Pakistan.