As the nation elects its next leader, it is a tragedy that such hopeful people are offered this glut of shoddy candidates In the run-up to Wednesday’s elections in Pakistan, hard-pressed attempts at democracy seem to have given way to a full-fledged circus.  We have powerful, all-knowing ringmasters, caged lions, knife-throwers, trapeze artists flying from perch to perch, even cruelty to animals is included. Ours is a circus which looks to be performing its last show before it shuts down – evidenced most clearly by its last act, the clown. The political record of the former cricket star Imran Khan, who is thought to be near to victory due to the backing of Pakistan’s powerful military establishment, has long been one of opportunism and obeisance.