Imran Khan's party (PTI) clean bowled the Muslim League of Nawaz Sharif in Punjab yesterday by winning 15 of the 20 seats being contested in bye-elections. These bye-elections were held due to a disputed decision by the Supreme Court, which effectively re-wrote the Constitution just to favor Imran Khan. Those who had voted for the opposition in the Punjab assembly were told that their votes could not be counted and they would have to run again.

I honestly thought the PTI would win only 4 or 5 seats and would take to the streets, screaming bloody murder. I guess I'm not aware of the Punjabi mindset. I suppose one conclusion we can draw is from the local proverb "The squint is king among the blind". Punjab is inhabited by crooks and it was only natural that they would elect someone like them who happens to be a super-crook. 

One thing to be noted is that the PTI garnered less than 50 percent of the total votes cast, yet got 75 percent of the seats. This is one of the anomalies of our system that needs to be corrected. 

It looks like the people were fooled by the anti-American rhetoric of the PTI. But there were other factors as well, like the Sharif family taking over the country despite knowing that their decisions to raise fuel and energy prices would make them unpopular. Then again, the Sharifs have always swept Punjab and they didn't work hard enough this time. I don't think it was a good idea to make Hamza the Punjab chief minister and his father (Shahbaz) to be the prime minister. But again, you never know what the average Pakistani wants.

As expected, the victory has not gone down well among the business class. The stock exchange has lost more than 700 points since the morning, the dollar has soared another three rupees and it is doubtful if the IMF and the other lenders (like the Saudis) will like the result. It now looks like we have another two or three months of uncertainty, unless Imran Khan decides to call it a day. I shudder at the thought of him forming the next government.