ISLAMABAD - Strongly rejecting to what they termed the powerful military establishment’s move titled ‘save the state, not the politics’ spearheading by a self-proclaimed revolutionary Allama Tahirul Qadri under the guise of electoral reforms demand, leaders of a left-wing political party, Awami Workers Party (AWP) Tuesday demanded implementation of an earlier verdict of Supreme Court of Pakistan in electoral reforms case.
Addressing a news conference here at National Press Club, the leaders were of the view that apex court’s verdict in a petition filed by prominent lawyer and president of AWP Abid Hassan Minto, passed on June 2012, must be implemented. In its verdict, the Supreme Court termed the existing electoral process as biased and based on corrupt practices, and directed Election Commission of Pakistan to take appropriate and necessary measures to make the electoral process flawless.
AWP’s General Secretary (Punjab) Dr Asim Sajjad said the planned march on Islamabad on January 14 would not yield desired results, as it is not based on solid social, political, and economic grounds. “A person (Qadri) came out of nowhere and raised slogan of revolution and it is all in continuation of designs of military establishment. We have relevant laws and decision of the Supreme Court of Pakistan for the same purpose and what needed is their implementation,” Sajjad said.
He said Qadri’s slogan for change is aimed at mere change of faces rather much-needed social change in the society. On the occasion he also called for restructuring of prevailing basic social and economic system in Pakistan.
“People of Pakistan should look into the past of all those people who are rising slogans of change. Their current efforts are amounted to derail the fragile democratic system of the country,” he said.
He said during the past 65 years, the country’s powerful establishment drew powers by weakening state institutions. Nasan Nasir Senior Vice President of AWP commented in Pakistan one needed money and links in ISI to contest the elections and to get to the power corridors. Nasir said politics meant to bring real change in the lives of people of Pakistan does not exist, so far, in Pakistan. He also informed about a series of legal initiatives taken by AWP to truly democratise the electoral process. He said no meaningful action has been taken by any of the relevant governmental authorities in pursuance of SC decision in Minto case. The court in its verdict given in June 2012 had stated that the existing electoral system is biased in favour of the rich and political powerful. SC has issued a nine-point set of directions to the Election Commission to Pakistan. He said indeed, the electoral system - and Pakistani democracy more generally - is stacked heavily against the poor and politically weak.
“Running for election is an affair which costs millions of rupees, whereas the ‘feudal’ power structure, which includes the network of thanas and katcheris, weighs heavily against the possibility of working class representation in elected assemblies,” he added.
Nisar Hassan Secretary Information AWP said the left wing political parties have been the biggest casualty of state repression in this country, and has struggled incessantly for the establishment of people’s democracy in this country.
He said AWP would continue to strive in separating the real proponents of democracy from those who seek to subvert it for their own narrow interests.