Where are Fair Elections Needed?


Where are Fair Elections Needed?

The ongoing voter verification process in Karachi was supposed to end by Feb.11th 2013, but by the given date 0.7 million voters in all the districts have not been verified yet. The process started on Supreme Court’s notification which came out as a result of the petition filed by some parties against Karachi’s election results. The parties demanded for the delimitation in Karachi, which was last done in 2002 on the census report of 1998 in all over Pakistan. Since then census process has not been done in Pakistan.

 

Election Commission laws (Act 34 of 1974) is clear about the process of delimitation. The law says “the constituencies for elections to the National and Provincial Assemblies are to be delimited after every census.”  Now the Article 10(11) of above ECP law says under the title of “Bar of Jurisdiction” that “the validity of the delimitation of any constituency, or of any proceedings taken or anything done by or under the authority of the Commission, under this Act shall not be called in question in any court.” Now the parties who are sitting outside National assembly has focused on Karachi for delimitation and voter verification and the largest opposition party PML(N) has joined them in this campaign. The questions arise are, why didn’t PML(N) demand the census throughout the country and then delimitation under ECP laws in last five years? Why did these parties raising this issue when the Election is around the corner?

 

Safely, 60% or more population in Pakistan lives in rural areas, which depend on Agriculture and so does Pakistani economy. But in 65 year of state process we have seen 30 year of democracy and rest has gone to dictatorships. But the 30 year of democracy in which more than 60% elected members come from rural areas have failed to develop those areas. Most of the villages in Pakistan are still lacking with clean water, education system and health system for the general public.

 

Unfortunately, we still witness the cases of parallel judicial system like Panchayat, bonded labor and honor killings. The democracies consists of mainly oligarchies have given nothing to the people of Pakistan. And the shattered cotton industry, shortage of wheat and growing terrorism are the proof of their failed attitudes towards those people who vote for them. The ruler politics is mostly depends upon factions, traditions, religion, cast and personal rivalries. The representatives don’t come with any agenda for people.  And lack of education and mental slaveries haven’t let villagers learned the power of their votes.

 

ECP commissioner Fakhuruddin G Ibrahim has opposed the demand of delimitation but has agreed on the Army deployment on every Polling station in Karachi. The step is undemocratic but ECP is doing it in the interest of Pakistan. If  ECP and Supreme Court think that free and fair election of only Karachi can bring the change in each part of  Pakistan then with due  respect to the above institution I can’t agree with this step. The areas which are in need of free and fair elections are the rural areas, where voters are forced to vote for their masters and sometimes on the simplest bribe of Rs.500 or by one time meal.

 

Even Free and fair Election Network (FAFEN) should concentrate more on rural areas. The Army should be deployed on each polling station of those rural areas. Here national and international media has to play their role by showing more coverage of the rural areas. What standard of living the villagers have after giving votes to their masters in every election?  After all, again at the end of the next election the Pakistani parliament will be ruling by the oligarchies.

 

 

It’s sad. Isn’t it? But they are still people on this forum debating about men protecting women and Islamic injunctions.



Farheen Rizvi

A masters in International Management from University of Maryland, a social worker and a blogger.


  • Sam

    The blogger can not justify the way of polling in Karachi merely by this article. Off course verification of voter list should be carried out throughout country, but unfortunately, the situation of Karachi is worst. The people of rural areas cast their votes just for one-time meal or Rs. 500 but in Karachi, the people from other thoughts either politically or ethnically can not and their votes are stolen by a specific party with uncountable number of votes. Kindly survey before writing something….

  • thana

    we know that u pretend to be Pakistan’s one of the biggest news channels but at least use right map when you are posting something on web.

  • owais

    I was to ask that why kashmir is not included in the map of Pakistan have we been forgotton our soldier’s sacrifice and those kashmiries freedom fighters who are resisiting from decades.

  • S Nasrullah

    Every Polling Station should be supervised under a mobile Army Unit to insure peace and tranquility for the electorates to exercise their right of franchise without compulsion or coercion. The Chief Election Commissioner rightly felt the need for extra security measures at some polling stations in Karachi, knowing full well that the interminable cycle of violence would have drastic fall-out on the day of the hustings with all those desperate Parties gunning to retain their stranglehold on their turf. They are so habitual of the gospel of the grab that the simple force of police would not deter them rigging the polls. Despite the presence of Rangers and Special Anti_terrorist squads of the Police, the target killing and blood letting has never abated. But the presence of the Armed Soldiers with battle ready back-up to take charge, there is enough deterrence for the wicked mafia to risk their limbs and life to activate their foolish bravado.
    The Feudal Lords in the rural areas shall have their orders obeyed – willing or unwilling and the oppressed farmers and helpers shall have little comfort in the presence of the armed soldiers who may protect them once and for that day alone – but what happens in future – the less said the better. The Feudal system have taken strong roots in the society and unless the Law is promulgated and enforced indiscriminately, purveying punishments with full force of law, there is absolutely no chance of those unfortunate lot to enjoy the moments of their relief and respite, free from fear and fury of their tormentors.