Need for Political Stability

The political parties and their leaders must place the national interest above their narrow political agendas.

There are no two opinions about the fact that the country is wad­ing through the toughest ever economic and political crisis owing to the shenanigans of the politi­cal elite and their reckless in­dulgence in politics of self-ag­grandizement. Their penchant for clinching political power by all means is the root-cause of the situation where Pakistan stands at the moment. The trag­edy is that they are not prepared to learn from the self-inflicted disasters. 

The post election scenario is quint­essential of this bitter reality. Like in the past general elections the results of 2024 elections have also become con­troversial. The split mandate given by the people is being vociferously disput­ed by PTI notwithstanding the fact that it has swept the elections in KPK and has won 95 National Assembly seats and its candidates have also returned in fairly large numbers in the provin­cial Assembly of Punjab. The party stal­warts insist that the PTI-backed inde­pendents have won 180 NA seats as per forms 45 available with them and they have been deprived of 85 five seat through an organized rigging. Report­edly GDA, PTI, JI have decided to launch a joint campaign against rigging in the elections. Maulana Fazlur Rehman of JUI (F) has also made a similar decision. 

Similar distrust in the results has in­variably been expressed in the previous elections as well but this time a new di­mension has been added to the rigging mantra. Some bizarre developments have aggravated the already precarious politi­cal situation which ostensibly appear to be part of a well conceived plan to dent the credibility of the whole electoral exer­cise and bring a bad name to the country. 

The first development was a press conference by Rawalpindi commis­sioner Liaqat Ali Chatha in which he re­vealed that he had supervised rigging in all the NA and provincial seat in the Rawalpindi division and that he accept­ed full responsibility for it besides re­signing from his post. 

The second and the most alarming development was a report by a jour­nalist that he had unearthed a print­ing press in Lahore which was printing ballot papers concerning NA-15 Man­sehra. These reports did create a storm. The social media, particularly belonging to PTI immediately got activated in the backdrop of these occurrences and is leaving no stone unturned in establish­ing the authenticity of these revelations and reinforcing the rigging mantra. A sustained smearing campaign has also been unleashed against judges of the Su­preme Court, ECP in addition to threats to some government functionaries. 

These are very serious issues and need to be thoroughly probed to es­tablish their authenticity or otherwise. The ECP has already and rightly con­stituted a three member committee to probe allegations of the commission­er which has recorded the statements of DRO and ROs who reportedly have contradicted claims of the commission­er. In the meantime some eminent jour­nalists and v-loggers have come up with the revelations that the commission­er was in contact with PTI leaders who had alerted their social media wizards about the revelations that he was going to make and had also advised them to inform some pro-PTI journalists about the likely occurrence. 

As regards the printing of ballot pa­pers for NA-15 in Lahore, it also seems a link in the same chain. According to Nas­rullah Malik head of Neo News the jour­nalist who claimed to have unearthed the printing of ballot papers had come to him for making it public on his chan­nel but he refused to do it telling him why did he not telecast on his own channel?. According to him he did not believe in the authenticity of the story. The concerned journalist did not tele­cast it on the channel where he worked. However the story was broken by the social media of PTI. I would not like to give my opinion on these episodes until investigation reports are revealed. 

My considered view is that these de­velopments must be probed thoroughly and the findings shared with the public. The government has done well to con­stitute a JIT to look into the allegations about printing of ballot papers as well as probing the involvement of people in the defamatory campaign against SC judges, ECP and government official on the social media. I am sure the reports of the ECP committee in regards to state­ment of the commissioner and outcome of the investigations against him would unearth the faces behind this regretta­ble happening. The findings of the JIT would also hopefully bring out the real motives of the people who are engaged in this anti-state activity. 

It is noteworthy that yet another link in the same chain was a petition filed in the SC by a retired brigadier sympathet­ic to PTI for declaring the whole elector­al exercise as null and void. But when the SC took up the case for hearing the petitioner did not appear before it. The court was told that he had already with­drawn the petition it was told that the concerned individual had withdrawn his petition. The SC rightly expressed resentment against the behaviour of the petitioner and disposed it off by impos­ing a fine of five lakhs on him. 

The permeating situation does not augur well for the much needed politi­cal stability in the country. All those ele­ments who are contemplating to launch a movement against rigging in the elec­tions are better advised to seek redress of their complaints through proper fo­rums like election tribunals and the ECP as required under the Election Act 2017. They need to put their faith in the state institutions and avoid any move to aggravate the political situation. 

The political parties and their leaders must place the national interest above their narrow political agendas. They must respect the mandate given to each party and try to proceed in the light of the changed ground realities. While PML (N) and PPP have already reached a set­tlement for a coalition in the centre, those who have gained mandate in the provinc­es should also try to form governments immediately pending the resolution of complaints in regards to elections. 

The PTI is well advised to shun its divisive politics and take measures to atone the culture of violence, impu­dence and false narratives to mislead the masses and polluting the minds of younger generation. The continuity of these machinations would not only be harmful for the party itself in the long run but would also jeopardize the na­tional interests. Serious re-thinking is needed in this regard.

Malik Muhammad Ashraf 

The writer is a freelance columnist. He can be reached at ashpak10@

The writer is a freelance columnist. He can be reached at

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