General elections in the country have concluded but the questions on the fairness of the process have not settled yet. One such display of lack of satisfaction over the results are the protests organised by Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (F) in various cities and constituencies across Sindh. Traffic and connectivity were disrupted due to these widespread protests and sit-ins that are not over yet. As per the local officials of JUI-F, the protests will continue unless the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) corrects what has been allegedly manipulated.
JUI-F is not the only political party that is staging protests in Sindh. Similar calls were also heard by Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) who held protests earlier, after the polls. These demonstrations reflect the deep-seated frustration and unease among the electorate over the election results. Delay and irregularity in the process of announcing results by the ECP have heightened suspicions among the parties, especially the candidates apparently losing in their respective constituencies.
This environment of uncertainty has become a double-edged sword. While there are credible reservations about unfair results, on the one hand. On the other, there are also chances of every other losing candidate questioning the transparency of the process. This is frustrating for citizens who took part in the polls and are now staring at the buzz of protests on their television screens. The demands for the ECP to address the alleged rigging and ensure the integrity of the electoral outcome highlight the urgent need for transparent and accountable electoral practices.
These protests also serve as a reminder of the importance of safeguarding the democratic rights of citizens and upholding the rule of law in order to maintain public trust in the electoral system. Video evidence of rigging has also drawn in the eye of international media and this certainly does not look good for the country. To set things right, it is essential that ECP addresses all the complaints that have been filed. Courts are also involved in the process and just like pre-polls, it is once again a test of the judiciary as well.
Be it JUI-F or any other political party, right now everyone is demanding that the ECP shares official results and attends to the rigging complaints that candidates have come up with. Not a very ideal situation though, all stakeholders must practice restraint and patience. At the end of the day, it is the integrity of the country that must stand supreme.