Protest Peril

The Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) has sparked concerns with its announcement of a nationwide protest movement against what it alleges to be rampant election rigging. This decision, declared amidst fervent rhetoric during a workers’ con­vention in the federal capital, threatens to cause major disrup­tions in the daily lives of citizens.

Maulana Fazlur Rehman, the party’s chief, pulled no punches in his scathing critique of the recent elections, claiming they surpassed even the elections of 2018, which were heavily surrounded by alle­gations of foul play. The Maulana’s statement have added on to the heap of allegations stating that our electoral process has been taint­ed by manipulation and deceit, leaving the public mandate trampled upon and our assemblies standing on foundations of falsehood.

Accusations of electoral malpractice not only cast a shadow over our electoral system but also ignite the flames of social unrest and instability. In a nation already teetering on the brink of political and economic turmoil, these statements serve as fuel to the fire, and could very well push the nation off its edge.

Maulana Fazlur Rehman also made specific accusations of estab­lishment interference, and the role this plays in the impartiality of our electoral process. Even though these may be valid, if left unchecked, these claims could deepen the fault lines within our society, eroding public trust in institutions and plunging us into further disarray.

Grievances must be addressed through established legal chan­nels and transparent investigations, not through the disruptive spectacle of mass protests based on unverified claims. The sanc­tity of our constitution hangs in the balance, as its value has been diminished to that of a mere piece of paper for those attempting to subvert it. It is incumbent upon all parties to uphold the rule of law, rather than resorting to theatrics that serve only to under­mine the very foundations of our democracy.

Even though the means may be ill advised, the end goals must be honourably pursued, as the qualms of our citizens are valid and need to be addressed. Transparent investigations, constructive engagement and depoliticisation of state institutions are crucial steps to earn public trust and create an inclusive political land­scape where the voice of every citizen is heard.

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