Politics of agitation


(Parliament Times) General Elections which were relatively held in a peaceful atmosphere have yielded many surprises on almost all sides of the political turf, as many heavy weights in Pakistani politics have lost their battle for the parliament and that too with heavy margin of votes. However, the fractured mandate has made PTI led by Imran Khan the single largest party but it has not been able to achieve simple majority to form government on its own. According to poll results PTI is said to have secured 114, PML-N 62, PPP 37 and Independent candidates bagged 16 national assembly seats. There are a total of 342 seats in the National Assembly. Of these, 272 are filled by direct elections. In addition, the Pakistani Constitution reserves 10 seats for religious minorities and 60 seats for women, to be filled by proportional representation among parties with more than 5% of the vote. A party needs to win at least 137 seats to obtain a simple majority, otherwise it is obliged to form a coalition with another political group. Though the poll results show that PTI still falling short of simple majority but it is for sure that the IK’s team is now in comfortable position to lead the government in the center. The preliminary results also suggest that PTI is in better position to form government not only in KPK but in Punjab the country’s political heartland that was ruled by Sharif brothers for last several years. On the other hand religious parties who have demonstrated street power during the recent years have miserably failed to make their presence felt in the July 25 general election. The big names of MMA including Moulan Fazl-ur-Rehman, Sirajul Haq have lost elections with heavy margins, even TLP, MMI and ATT fell flat and couldn’t get even a single seat in National or provincial assemblies. However, nearly a dozen candidates of MMA have been able to won from KPK and Balochistan.
As compared to previous elections PML-N, has suffered a great setback due to some obvious reasons. PPP has been able to retain its position in Sindh. What is more important is that the PTI has grabbed 14 seats from Karachi once a stronghold of MQM. Now that the IK is poised to lead the country it is yet to be seen as how his team will tackle the multiple challenges facing Pakistan today.
So far as the credibility of poll process is concerned, although it is not something new that the political parties have been raising doubts over the fairness of election process, similar kind of objections were raised during the previous elections. However, this is for the first time that major stakeholders have raised doubts regarding the impartiality and transparency of poll process at a time when election results were still trickling in. Pakistan Peoples Party, Pakistan Muslim League-N, MMA and others have alleged what they called as large scale rigging in the elections. They have expressed serious reservations regarding the rigging, non-availability of Form-45, expelling election and polling agents from the polling stations soon after the end of polling time and delay in announcement of results. The allegations have out rightly been rejected by the election commission citing technical issue as major cause behind delay in the formal vote count but the question arises that is it sufficient enough to satisfy the grieving parties who are crying foul. Given the past experience it is difficult to assume that the issue will die down so easily and immediately. Their are fears that the issue may snowball into yet another political crisis if left unaddressed. The Party that has itself exploited the issue [poll rigging] by bringing hundreds of thousands its supporters on streets of capital city soon after 2013 general elections may perhaps face same kind of situation in near future. In order to avoid such kind of a situation there is dire need that the people at the helm of affairs should take appropriate measures to address the political parties’ grievances, if any, in accordance with the law of the land. The Politics of confrontation and agitation has already inflicted huge loss to our economy and the country is no longer in position to afford this any more.


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