After ECP verdict


THE Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Thursday, dismissed disqualification references against PTI leaders Imran Khan and Jehangir Khan Tareen, raising hopes for lowering of unnecessary political temperature in the country. But approach of both the PTI and PML-N, as reflected by their media statements after ECP verdict, are discouraging as they have declared their intentions otherwise.
Only a detailed judgement would make it clear what prompted the ECP to arrive at the conclusion that the reference deserve to be killed yet PTI is maintaining that verdict is based on merit and PML-N claiming these have been knocked out on technical grounds. Whatever the reasons and justifications, there is consensus among political analysts that any adverse judgement would have dealt a severe blow to the already delicate political environment. It would not have been appropriate to disqualify top leadership of a party that is seen to be a government in waiting. Election Commission decision has also made it absolutely clear that the institution is working as it should and frequent attacks by PTI are uncalled for and unjustified. Even during hearing of references, Imran Khan and other leaders of the party made scathing attacks on ECP members on flimsy grounds and questioned their ability to hold impartial and transparent elections. This is not a correct approach to criticise institutions when they do things against someone’s interests and shower praises on them when their actions or decisions benefit someone. Already national institutions are fighting a war of credibility in the face of a number of odds like lack of funding and even absence of heads or properly qualified leadership. It is our collective responsibility to strengthen national institutions and not to indulge in anything that could undermine their prestige and credibility. After ECP decision, Imran Khan has now directed his guns towards Speaker Ayaz Sadiq, which does not augur well for political reconciliation while PML-N should also accept the verdict with sportsman spirit.