Toothless pakistan election commission article by abbas kassar in Indian Muslim Observer New Delhi
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Pakistan: Fair Elections Under Toothless Election Commission A Dream
BY IMO ADMIN | APRIL 06‚ 2013 at 4:53 pm 0 COMMENTS AND 2 REACTIONS
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By Abbas Kassar
Hyderabad (Pakistan): It is widely being trumpetted that elections 2013 in Pakistan will be held in fair and transparent manner. No doubt after the end of most corruptible government which gave nothing to 180 million citizens of Pakistan except unemployment, poverty, hunger, diseases, inflation and heap of foreign debt, every one desires change that can be brought through vote the polling for which is scheduled for 11 May 2013. But the question is that who is going to follow orders of election commission that are meant for fair elections. Then election commission itself has woken up from deep slumber of last 3 years.
Former secretary to Election Commission of Pakistan Kanwar Dilshad has observed that the election commissions in Pakistan have never been powerful enough like that of Indian Election Commisison to implement its orders. Giving example he said that recently Election Commission has banned exhibition of ams during election campaign but the the candidates when going to offices of returning officers for filing nomination papers are accompanied with their armed guards who not only exhibit the weapons in public, but are also seen firing in air. This is done to frighten the opponents but the election commission has kept silence on it. He said that the orders of election commission are not being followed for the reason that the district police officers and district deputy commissioners who are duty bound to implement instructions of election commission were all recruited by past government on political grounds and they owe fidelity with past ruling political parties.
Shaikhul Islam Allama Tahirul Qadri has already cast doubts on impartiality of election commission of Pakistan and has been demanding change in it. Allama had for the purpose organzied a mammoth Dharna (public sit in) in front of parliament house in Islamabad on January 14. Thousands had gathered despite chilling cold and rain. Then government of prime minister Raja Pervez Ashraf had sent a team of half a dozen federal ministers to him for dialogue and signed agreement with him under which it was decided that article 61 and 62 of constitution of Pakistan would be fully implemented. These articles call for parliamentary candidates to be pious, God fearing and having basic Islamic knowledge. It was also decided that scrutiny of candidates under these articles will be of one month but later in contravention of agreement with Allama Qadri the election commission has allowed only 7 days for scrunity. Now the supreme court of Pakistan has also asked for more time for scrutiny.Apart from Allama Qadri the leader of Mutehida Qaumi Movement Altaf Hussain has also expressed doubts on impartiality of ECP for its order for new delimitation in Karachi city alone. Altaf Hussain has asked why not the same in whole Pakistan and that why such practice so late when the polling is so close. Why election commission had not carried out fresh delimitation during last 5 years.
Another aspect under article 61 and 62 is that of disqualifications as if a candidate has even given wrong information in his nomination form he is to be disqualified . On the orders of Supreme Court as many as 189 members of past parliament are facing charge of fake degress they had mentioned in then nomination forms in 2008 but could not prove nor present certificates of their educational qualification. Now on orders of SC the Higher Education Commission has been sent list of these 189 fake degree holder past parliamentarians for verification last date of which is April 5. This again proves ineffectiveness, apathy or lack of interest on part of Election Commission as to what it was doing for last years and why had it not got degrees of these 189 parliamentarians verified during their tenure. Kanwar Dilshad has criticised present election commission for its lethargy. Political analysts are also of the view that 4 members of election commission out of 5 are politically appointed and have allegiance with one or other political party in that scenario the question is that how elctions in Pakistan are going to be held fair and transparent which in my opinion is no more that a dream. It is again courts who have started to punish such fake degree holders and as a result former Member of National Assembly (MNA) Humayoon Aziz Kurd has been convicted for fake degree for term of 1 years and sent to jail on Tuesday. On same day Khalifo Abdul Qayoom and Javed Tarkai have been convicted for 3 years and sent to jail.Warrants have been issued for ex MNAS Malik Langrial,Badshah Qaisrani and Jamshed Dasti ( the right hand man of former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani who has already been disqualified by the Supreme Court.
[Abbas Kassar is a Jounalist in Hyderabad, Pakistan and presently working as bureau chief of daily Messenger Karachi and Lahore Times ( online), a member of Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists and European Journalism Center. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org;email@example.com and 92 3453585137]