Is PTI trying to derail democracy?

Published: February 9, 2013
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Are independent but similar concerns over an election commission communicated in a joint press conference classified as joining a party?

In the latest saga of the upcoming general election soap opera, Dr Tahirul Qadri has taken his petition against the constitution of the Election Commission Pakistan (ECP) to the Supreme Court.

But since it’s Dr Qadri who has decided to take this step, then why is the political party and media compass pointing to PTI headquarters?

PTI stated it had no regrets about not joining the long march. The reason they gave was that despite the same agenda there was a different method of proposed realisation.

Why?

One word – unconstitutional.

The media and PPP criticised PTI for demanding Asif Zardari’s resignation.

Why?

One word- unconstitutional.

PTI maintained that Asif Zardari should resign as he could not hold two posts; President of Pakistan and Chairman of PPP.

Why?

One word – unconstitutional.

Parties such as PPP and PML-N are maintaining their stance in support of dissolving the Election Commission of Pakistan which is… any guesses?

One word – unconstitutional.

But before dissolution comes formation and now the million dollar question – was the Election Commission of Pakistan formed the way it was supposed to be as per the constitution?

Enter Dr Tahirul Qadri.

The leader of Pakistani Awami Tehreek filed a petition against the ‘composition and constitution of the current Election Commission of Pakistan’ in the Supreme Court on February 7 and asked for a ‘reconstitution’ of the commission.

Dr Qadri was not accompanied by any other party leaders.

Enter Imran Khan.

Indeed PTI senior leaders met with Dr Qadri to ‘discuss their reservations of the Election of Pakistan’ on the February 6 and indeed there was a joint press conference. But was this enough for people, including the media, to jump to the conclusion that ‘Imran joins Qadri,’ as tweeted by the much followed media anchor and columnist Talat Hussain on Twitter?

Are independent but similar concerns over an election commission communicated in a joint press conference classified as joining a party?

Was PML-N accused of joining JUI-F or the other parties present when they met and held conferences shadowing each other’s concerns about the long march?

PTI maintains that it is not pointing the finger and the credibility of the election commission, including the Election Commissioner Fakhruddin G Ebrahim but it does hold concern for the ability of this commission to hold fair and free elections.

The incident the party explain is responsible for nurturing these concerns is the failure of the chief election commissioner to respond to their complaints in November about parties such as PPP and PML-N using government money to campaign and self-propagate in this run up to elections. This has been reiterated by the party Chairman Imran Khan himself on a recent episode of Hamid Khan’s Capital Talk. He also added that there had been no alliance in with the Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) and that PTI was currently in no alliance but open to talking to various parties as per the functioning of any political party.

Tracking back to Dr Qadri’s Supreme Court petition, Kamran Khan shared the opinion of legal expert Babar Sattar on the issue in his recent programme. The advocate very plainly expressed that the election commission was not formed in complete accordance with the defined procedure and went on to explain that if the Supreme Court were to order rectification of this then it could be rectified within a few days if need be.

If this is truly the case, then why are the huge allegations, from PPP and PML-N, against PTI for wanting to ‘delay’ the elections subjectively alleging that PTI is scared of its own impending electoral failure?

With significant development on February 8, it has become apparent that political parties PTI, PAT and PML-Q aren’t the only ones entirely unhappy with the ECP as the Supreme Court Justice Chaudhry Iftikhar has also issued a statement about the Supreme Court’s own concerns about the ECP with regards to unsatisfactory progress with Karachi voter verification as per orders and stated that the ECP

Sawai haath malney ke ilawa kuch nahi kar sakay ga.’ 

(Can do nothing but sit back and rub their hands.)

What’s also surprising is that the chief election commissioner has himself issued a statement that parties shouldn’t make baseless allegations and to use these for political aims was inappropriate.

Who was this statement indirectly or not so indirectly aimed at?

Now just how independent, neutral and appropriate is that folks?

PPP and PML-Q need not worry.

The last thing most of the country wants is a delay in elections and prolongation of the current state of affairs of a country on its deathbed. It’s worth noting though that at the end of five years of the current government, what are the questions that should have been asked of these two heavyweights in government by the media (the so called advocates of the nation) at this time and what in reality are the questions being asked and of whom?

Just who is trying to delay what?

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Dr.Sabreena.Razaq.Hussain

Sabreena Razaq Hussain

A doctor, political activist and aspiring writer based in the UK.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.