BY: KANWAL ABIDIPublished in
The Financial Daily on 8th Oct 2015 in Opinion to Editor
Pakistan Observer on 10th Oct 2015 on National Page
The mayhem of May 2013 elections are clearly refracted in the Election Commission collapsing on its writ to hold “true and fair” elections.
The results on May 11th 2013, trumping Nawaz Shareef as the Prime Minister announced the culmination of the electoral process - only for us to wake up to a pool of rigging allegations, where our democracy is trying to swim out.
It seems that our colourful political clan were wooing to declare the “losing ground” as rigged - and the “ruling ground” as pious. Those who won the elections – never cared less for the legislative mode of their duties – but were more interested to renovate their parliament lodges on tax payers’ funds.
MNAs come and go - but the fact remains, our politicians keep the circus alive of the blame game. The big fishes eat the small fishes, and the ruling government somehow, capitalizes on the “art of arresting their own fish meal”.
All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances; — William Shakespeare
Many politicians have entered the history and exited too – leaving many afloat to have their names included in the books, but then - they are just mere players of the system.
Late Zulfiqar Bhutto played his cards against PNA – Pakistan National Alliance, in 1977 elections, but the rigging fiasco ensued the coup of General Zia over the counter.
In May 2013 elections, Ayaz Sadiq - emerged as a cascading warrior of NA 122, who was elected unanimously on 3rd June 2013, to the Speaker’s seat of the National Assembly.
The Captain challenging on board four constituencies, have consumed lot of time – and NA 122, carries vital importance, as it caters to National Assembly Speaker’s destiny!
The 126 dharnas caused much havoc and now with NA 122 going back to the polls has made the Speaker’s seat vacant. Owing to Ayaz Sadiq’s absence, PML N did not fill the seat and hence, delay is caused in convening of the National Assembly session has started to affect the legislative work. At least five important bills passed by the Senate have lapsed due to the failure of the government to get them approved by the Lower House within 90 days. All what PML N did care for was to make 90 days in action through the bulldozed Protection of Pakistan Ordinance!
Laughable, yet disturbing thoughts revolve - as Ayaz Sadiq never showed up in NA 122, since the day he became Speaker on 3rd June 2013– till now wherein, he daily attends corner meetings and rallies for more Speaker status – and less for the soul of Lahore.
The Speaker’s tenure has memories of supplementary questions and enforcing bull dozed legislations– with “Aye Aye Sir”, ignoring all the dissenting melodies and issues related to either absent or resigned parliamentarians.
Ayaz Sadiq is embarking upon the mandate of PML N hailing from Lahore, as he himself, is totally alienated from his constituency problems. Nevertheless, an army of Federal Ministers are to his rescue – raising slogans and calling out to lions on the streets to vote for the cats that are baited by the fishes!
Classic example of abusing power is displayed by the engine of the campaign, who has mobilized a force of disguised railway police to coerce and harass the voters to come out on 11th October 2015 and stamp the cat to be lion of NA 122 – thus violating the basic right of the citizen to cast vote in favour of the candidate of his choice,
“The ballot is stronger than the bullet” - Abraham Lincoln
But, dynamics exhibited by PML N in the electioneering has fatally challenged Abraham Lincoln’s quote to be unquoted as “Bullet is stronger than the Ballot”.
This coercion is worse than the pre-poll rigging exhibited in the false promises made to empower the farmers in the name of “Agriculture Booster” injection. The writer of the electioneering lion campaign – has forgotten that few weeks before the main mall roads were blocked on the issue of upscaled wheat prices. One can hope, they know the connection of wheat and farmers – if not the broken electricity connections of NA 122 constituency – where still one hour light comes and goes.
On the other side of the coin, carries Dongee ground slogans - which carried the reflections of 5th May 2013 rally - two days before the captain fell down from the jalsa stage on 7th May 2013 at Barkat Market in Lahore – which sends of an old questions, how a New Pakistan is made by the Captain, who cannot even manage a stage? And a question to his political workers – why could not they arrange a stretcher to carry their leader to ambulance?
The 4th October 2015, election rally was good in colours, but lesser in number as the dongee ground was not jammed pack, as it was on 5th May 2013. Primarily, the people of NA 122 – are exhausted from excessive load shedding – still prevailing and alienation from the false manifestoes uttered only – during electioneering campaign and forgotten after the results!
To play in the shadows of boots, the change agents want the vehicle carrying the ballot papers to be guarded by our Army. If the job of the boots - starts to clamp upon chasing the voyage of ballot papers and by-elections never ending process - our borders security would be compromised!
Crossing all the hurdles created by the lion supporters, Captain’s tigers and tigress just sip tea now - but are not interested in attending tea parties. Whatever, mandate Captain secured in the May 2013 elections – was banked upon the mandate of Mian Aslam who joined PTI on 17th April 2013, few days before the big game on 11th May 2013. Consequently, Captain embarking upon the vision of New Pakistan carries no validity in his name, except having convinced Mian Aslam to join his team – who has always been a seasoned player of NA 122.
The porous system of our electoral process cannot be even guarded by the Pentagon experts - thus, we can leave the election process to be labelled as “Untrue and Unfair” – qualifying the electoral process, as complicated - as finding a pin in the ocean! When one sees the zest displayed by the prominent politicians - rallying up to their confused manifestoes and shouting blatant statements of blame game, one can quote:
“When one with honeyed words but evil mind,
Persuades the mob, great woes befall the state” - Euripides, Orestes
Question arises, in this Political Showdown – if Ayaz Sadiq is elected once more to NA 122 and consequently, restored as the Speaker – would he still carry the respect among the masses? Obviously not – as in 2 years and 5 months, none of the yester promises were fulfilled by him.
Henceforth, if the Change Agent, Aleem Khan climbs the ladder of NA 122, would he live up to the constituency’s citizens’ expectations? Obviously not – as he is alienated from NA 122 problems and hence - will not be able to understand the “peoples’ language”.
Once again, the bells of National Assembly after being pro-rouged on 13th August 2015 shall ring – to remind the parliamentarians to attend their classrooms, but the voice of common man living in NA 122 – shall remain hidden behind the clouds. Hence, whoever is crowned as the king, the fact remains the streets of NA 122 - shall remain without light.
By: KANWAL ABIDI
Writer is a Political Journalist and Media Strategist
Founder of 063 News (Press Agency)