Opinion, Politics

Election fever, phobias and possibilities

Three days more to the momentous day of May 11, 2013, that shall decide the fate of Pakistani nation for the coming five years. Due to the extreme significance of forthcoming elections, the international media is also giving it full fledged coverage. Til now a number of analysis and surveys have been conducted covering different aspects of the elections. Some of these write ups have indicated the possibility of some delay or even out-ride postponement of these elections.

Attacks on political parties, killing of election candidates, bomb blasts in rallies, law and order situation, economic meltdown and precarious security environment altogether indicate towards an unwanted situation for Pakistani public. On the other hand,  election campaign is in full swing these days, with less interference from judiciary and Army. Pakistan’s Army has adopted a hands off policy and is not involving itself in political issues. However, realizing its responsibility, Pakistan’s army chief Gen. Ashfaq Pervaiz Kiyani has ensured security provision in sensitive polling stations on the election day, but only as a quick response force. About 10000 troops are deployed in the city of Karachi alone. However, there won’t be any deployment of the forces on polling station, it was decided upon in the recent meeting of the top Army officials under the command of Army chief, General Kiyani.

On the other hand, the election commission has completed its arrangements and duties have been assigned to presiding and assistant officers. To ensure free and fair elections, ECP(election commission of Pakistan) has made strict rules this time, however, we see a pre-poll rigging in form of terrorism. One after another attacks and bomb blasts show that TTP (Tehreek e Taliban Pakistan) absolutely doesn’t want ANP, PPP, and MQM as ruling parties. According to Taliban the process of a democratic election is an un Islamic procedure and as such should not be encouraged. On top of it, these parties hold secular mind set and hence they strongly oppose them tooth and nail.  Thus PPP, MQM, and ANP are seemingly at stake not only because of Taliban but majority of Pakistani nation too don’t like them due to their previous bad governance record. The unfavorable situation has brought the three major parties, MQM, PPP and ANP on one table condemning all that is happening to them, while still sticking to their positive statements about upcoming election. However, they are blaming the caretaker government and ECP for failing to provide them security and providing a level playing field. Their complaints and silent messages have raised a few eyebrows. Adding to this, one member of MQM in a TV interview said that they would welcome a delay of election.

Besides, PTI(Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf) although gained quite popularity in a short period but they are facing some inside party problems due to their recent intra party elections. Their intra-party organizational structure has not fully evolved yet and is in a disarray. Their intra-party election process ended this march. After that, they went straight into their election campaign. The time required for this new setup to hold its ground was not available to them.  Ofcourse, it requires time for it to get settled. So a short delay in elections would not disturb this party as much as PML-N.  The later is very serious about holding the election on time. Because any delay in the election process will only hurt their popularity graph. Presently, PML-N and PTI are neck to neck competitors. Both parties are extremely hopeful and are not in a position to face any failure. An unexpected situation would increase problems which will end up in a form of weak government.   Thus establishing peace in the region will be a far cry.

If  the current situation aggravates any further or there is some serious mishap involving any of the above three parties, there is a great possibility they would withdraw from the election process on the pretext of saving their voters’ lives. Consequently,  the judiciary would take over and the Chief Justice, with the support of establishment and other forces, would be legally made the President of the country by taking the present President into confidence. And thus efforts will be made to establish peace in the region and solve other problems as well.

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