Conspiracy theories have a field day

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Nadeem Syed

Conspiracy theories have a field day Wednesday, January 16, 2013 - The country was jolted twice on Tuesday when first Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri asked the government to go home voluntarily and second when SC ordered the NAB to arrest Prime Minister.

The Qadri’s increasing demands and SC verdict have allowed the conspiracy theorists and rumour mongers to have a field day. The general perception among these quarters is this that a stage is being set to postpone elections for an indefinite period.

The main conspiracy theory doing rounds in federal capital and among the political quarters is that President Zardari under unprecedented circumstances arising out of long march or otherwise out of any other development would enforce emergency in the country. The imposition of emergency will render the existing assemblies nonfunctional till the time emergency remains enforced in the country. Delay in election could be sought from the apex court on the basis of the emergency in the country. The assemblies will be revived once the emergency will be lifted.

In the same conspiracy theory it is claimed that President Zardari can be reelected from the revived assemblies. But this scenario in which Zardari has the option to get re-elected from the present assemblies is not acceptable to PML (N) chief Nawaz Sharif.

As part of the rumour, all the powerful institutions, presidency military and judiciary are on board.

According to this conspiracy theory delay in elections is sought for two to three years as powers that be are not sure about the results of elections.

Some rumour-mongers believe that Nawaz Sharif for his anti-Establishment rhetoric is no longer acceptable to these forces when the PML (N) leadership smells victory in the coming elections and is upbeat. Still others hold that the US and UK governments are interested to postpone elections as a part of their strategy to stablise Pakistan before the crucial US withdrawal from Afghanistan .

In another much-talked about theory, Qadri has returned to Pakistan to create condition conducive for judiciary and military to pick their own care-takers as the present government completes its term. This technocratic set up will then seek postponement of elections for two to three years at least, invoking emergency clauses in the constitution.

However, the army has made it clear twice that it has nothing to do with Qadri phenomenon. Similarly, on Tuesday, the SC asked the EC to make sure elections are held on time, dispelling the impression created by these conspiracy theories.

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