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"Let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to all that is good enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong; they are the ones to attain felicity".
(surah Al-Imran,ayat-104)
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User Name: AliSyed
Full Name: Ali Syed
User since: 7/Jul/2013
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SHOULD THE SUPREME COURT  TAKE NOTICE NOW ?

 

  Saeed Malik

 

When Imran Khan started asking for a recount of votes in four constituencies, the view of many was that he was certain he will be able to prove rigging in these, but because the number of  constituencies was so small, his aim was basically symbolic--a self-redemption of sorts, which will loom so much larger if only because it will simultaneously displace four PML-N heavy weights as it validates the allegations on PTI.

 

It is the government's intransigence in granting or facilitating this PTI demand, that led one to the increasing suspicion that perhaps the government may have good reason to indemnify the election results of these four constituencies against scrutiny. As Imran's demand became ever louder, so this suspicion started to get a keener edge of certainty, that opening these four constituencies to a recount may prove to be the tip of the iceberg, which would lead inevitably to the opening of a pandora's box. And this box once opened will offer up proof that the 2013 elections was a massive fraud.

 

This, Imran now firmly believes. But it seems that this was not the case immediately after the elections. His conviction as to the stolen nature of PML-N's mandate appears to have grown as his party garnered bits and pieces of information from many sources, some of them from within the system.

 

When you add to this the avowal of all the other political parties and the confession of the government itself, that the elections were significantly rigged, Imran's case for a vote audit becomes one that cannot be reasonably denied. His main problem is that the parties sitting in parliament that acknowledge the rigging, do not want a recount. They are all adamant on saving "democray", by defending a marred election-- thus far the only tangible process which is supposed to differentiate our democracy from our dictatorships! This is the only attempt I know where truth is being sought to germinate and blossom in a bed of lies! And the gardeners are Nawaz Sharif and Zardari, with the rear brought up with those "democrats" brought up on table scraps, election after election.So committed we are to our  democracy!

 

But most significantly, as our parliamentarians stuck to this position, the government  progressively started to concede ground, saying it will allow recount on 10,20, 30 and then 50 seats, and will also empower a judicial commission to oversee this process.

 

But immediately as the shadow of military intervention receded, the government did not lose much time taking refuge in the semantics of their undertaking for vote audit, while abandoning its spirit. Everything seems to have come to a halt on the question of what the Terms of Reference of the commission should be.

 

And out of the blue then comes the report of  the Election Commission, which creates an uproar, and the EC immediately denies that this report was in fact a report. They insist that these were observations of various individuals or agencies involved with the elections.

 

The point however is that whether this was a report or mere observations, they were observations on observed facts, and these in their entirety go to bolster and reconfirm the assertions of PTI. This being the case, this report which is also, not a report, cannot be simply wished away.

 

A plausible case of election rigging has been made. This started from Imran Khan's demand for a vote audit on four seats, bolstered by statements of all the political parties that the elections were significantly blemished, strengthened by government's own admission  of the same, and as a result of such admission, its concession to have a vote audit on a number of seats by a judicial commission at the level of the Supreme Court, followed last by the Election Commission "report".

 

With all this, notice of this issue has to be taken, instead of allowing the matter to be strangulated  by disagreement over semantics between PML-N and PTI.

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And it should be the Supreme Court, who has already been invoked by the government in this imbroglio that should take suo moto notice of this issue, which, without doubt is an issue of such moment that if ever any subject deserved its most avid attention, this is it. If this is not addressed and put to rest,  the very silence of the court will be tantamount to validation of egregiously marred and suspect elections as a foundation on which our democracy should rest for times to come.

 

The court has the options of determining if the elections were "rigged", the connotation of which has a ring of deliberate purpose to it ; or were the elections marred by reason of irregularities, which may or may not have had criminal intent behind them.

 

Of the two,the court should examine the second i.e the possibility of irregularities committed in the process of elections. It should first decide on the number of constituencies it will scrutinize as a sample. It should then decide on the percentage of votes, if found unverifiable or invalid in each constituency, to rule on the validity [or otherwise] of election in the subject constituency. Lastly, it should decide on the number of the constituencies found to have invalid results which will nullify the 2013 elections as a whole. To do all this it should decide on its own terms of reference.

 

It should be after it has examined the matter of "irregularities" in the elections, that  the matter of deliberate "rigging" should be taken up by it.

 

 Whatever the Supreme Court does, what it cannot afford to do is to sleep over this matter of supreme national interest. If this issue is left unattended , or left to the mercy of those with vested interests, it will lead to violence on the streets, and consequences which are not easy to determine. The court's very announcement that it is proceeding to examine this issue will immediately bring reassurance and comparative calm to the country, and end the dharnas.

 

This court should leave a legacy for the people of this country, which they can be proud of. So far the abiding legacy of this court is that of Iftikhar Mohammad Chowdhary. And his great success was that he proved to us all, that he was indeed the father of Arsalan, by establishing that he was as stupid as his son, and as culpable with him in small-time theft. His landmark achievement was to  impound a bottle of wine from a stupid, thirsty, B grade actress! After that he twirled his moustache and slinked off into judicial ignominy and folklore,  to leave us affirming the independence of our judiciary. Independent indeed to be servile, venal, hypocritical and utterly desplicable.

 

We are desperate to see our Supreme Judicial arbiter rise above this base standard of " Me-lordship"  grounded in the same hypocrisy and corruption as the wayward thanedar, except that the thanedar has no latin to redeeem himself from common-day abuse and accusation.

 

This Supreme Court has no option but to rise to the service of its country, and stave off the disaster that is gathering, and thus redeem itself and the country from the catastophe that beckons us.

 

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