As a political scientist with a sense of history and sociology I have no hesitation in saying that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI), led by cricket legend Imran Khan won the election hands down. The people of Pakistan voted against corruption and for change. From 10 am Central European Time, according to which the clock is set in Sweden, I was up and ready to comment throughout the day on the elections for some Pakistani channel. That never happened. I was told it was raining and some technical problem prevented communication with me. Could be or could be not. It is not very different from the fact that I was sent an invitation to give a talk at the Partition Museum in Amritsar in the last week of December 2017 and a lecture at the India International Centre in Delhi on January 17, 2018, but the Modi Government decided not to grant me the visa. I am quite used to such invitations and then the invitations being cancelled. However, the unintended consequence of this latest episode was that I was glued to the screen of my laptop throughout the day keeping abreast of what was happening minute-for-minute. I had requested a number of people I trusted to keep me informed about what was happening in their neighbourhoods on election day. The feedback was that things were proceeding normally and proper procedure was being followed. The first big surprise came at five-past-six in the evening when one channel’s television team started claiming that they already had the result from several constituencies but were not permitted to make it public until 7 pm. This was an incredible claim, because even in Sweden the vote count takes an hour per polling station and the results start coming in two hours later from official sources. I learnt that such gimmickry was part of the television channels’ bid to outdo one another and boost their rating. At election time, hooliganism reaches its pitch. This time however, everyone was well behaved. The reason was the presence of army personnel The rest of the evening was spent listening to a channel on which the ‘experts’ were clearly biased towards the PML-N. All sorts of pre-poll rigging allegations alluding to a deep state or establishment hell-bent on favouring Khan’s PTI were put forward by men who were supposed to be neutral experts rather than partisan commentators. Someone, however, pointed out that PML-N had a lead in Punjab while PPPP was leading in Sindh. So, how does the grand conspiracy theory hold water? Nobody had any rational explanation. Fortunately, GEO TV’s Sohail Warraich maintained a more responsible position and talked sense. Fortunately, some friends recommended news channels where I could get a different perspective. From these sources, the message was that the losers were crying foul and coming together because all of them had cases under investigation of massive corruption and were now looking for a way to challenge the reliability and veracity of the results. All of this was déjà vu. The most sensational moment last evening was when Mian Shahbaz Sharif and Mushahid Hussain Sayed threatened a grand alliance of several parties to reject the election results. They were convinced that the so-called Establishment was masterminding results which would ensure that Imran Khan was in a strong position to form the government. The “proof” was Form-45, which according to procedure must be filled and attested and given to representatives of the parties officially present at the polling stations. It was also alleged that from many polling stations representatives of anti-Imran parties had been forcibly expelled. I waited to hear senior officials from the Pakistan Election Commission, and especially those with a technical education, to give their explanation of what was happening. The crux of their explanation was that a glitch in the electronic system was responsible for the delay in the results. Apparently, the system had been tested and given the green light even when some objections had been made by officials. At long last the consensus was that Imran Khan had won hands down. I went to sleep satisfied with the explanation. In the morning I called some very close friends to find out what had happened. Syed Ali Haroon Shah who has been a member of the Punjab Assembly himself and before him his father Syed Amir Hussain Shah, went to his village Moinuddinpur in Gujrat to vote. Haroon Shah is a man who can always be relied upon to stick to facts and truth. He told me that the preparations at the polling station where he voted were exceptionally orderly and efficient in contrast to the gun-slinging macho culture for which Gujrat is notorious. At election time, such hooliganism reaches its pitch. This time however, everyone was well behaved. The reason was the presence of army personnel. Elsewhere too, the presence of the army ensured that those who wanted to vote could do it freely and fearlessly. This is what many people wrote to me, many of them students and Facebook friends. Of course, there was no dearth of intellectuals and men of great experience telling me that from beginning to end what they saw was a drama whose script had already been prepared with a climax crowning Khan as King. Among those holding such a point of view are also some friends whose judgment and integrity I value greatly. However, I must now give my own verdict. I think Imran Khan won handsomely. Pakistan has been misruled to a point where anything which is a rupture with the status quo is good. On the Lahore Mall Road, I have been caught up for hours in traffic jams because some minister or relative of the ruling party bosses were passing. The whole scene of gunmen and other escorts is a parody of Hollywood films on Latin American juntas. On the other hand, hospitals and schools have been objects of sublime neglect. If people have now voted against the status quo I am the least surprised. Outside Lahore, things are much worse. In Sweden, the prime minister goes around on foot in Stockholm with one or two security men in civilian clothes with him. Such security arrangements started taking place when Prime Minister Olof Palme was assassinated on 28 February 1986. I have seen other ministers travelling on public transport, buses and local trains and underground tubes, standing if no seat was vacant, and nobody evening nodding at them, what to say of getting up to give them the seat. Once I know Imran Khan is the next prime minister of Pakistan, I shall write how the Scandinavian model can be a source of learning for his idea of a Muslim welfare state. The writer is Professor Emeritus of Political Science, Stockholm University; Visiting Professor Government College University; and, Honorary Senior Fellow, Institute of South Asian Studies, National University of Singapore. He has written a number of books and won many awards, he can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org Published in Daily Times, July 27th 2018.