Article-5 empowers ECP | By Kanwar M Dilshad

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Article-5 empowers ECP

AS per Article 5 the loyalty to the State is the basic duty of every citizen. And as per sub-section 2 of the same Article.

Obedience to the Constitution and law is the inviolable obligation of every citizen whenever he may be and of every other person for the time being with in Pakistan.

This is dangerous brinkmanship which can rattle the foundation of the constructional system that holds the national structure together. Such brinkmanship is being fuelled by incendiary rhetoric as well as inflexible demands of a unilateral nature.

The government attacks on the Election Commission of Pakistan are getting more scathing by the day. The two federal ministers unleashed a verbal offensive against the Chief Election Commissioner and crossed the line of decorum.

One Minister indicated that the ECP should be set on fire. It is fairly obvious that these are choreographed, orchestrated and synchronised attack on the ECP and they have a clear outcome in mind.

Most unfortunately, the government has attempted to make the Election Commission of Pakistan controversial at a time when the input is critical for the electoral reforms under consideration.

Some federal ministers launched blistering attacks on it in the wake of the ECP listing 37 objections to the use of EVMs in the next elections.

The ECP rejected the allegations as baseless and issued notices to the ministers to produce evidence to back their claims.

In a significant development, the government and the opposition agreed on the formation of a parliamentary panel on electoral reforms.

The development came amid a raging controversy over the government plan to rush through two contentious election related bills providing for introduction of EVMs and right to vote for Overseas Pakistanis possible through Internet voting system.

It also came two days before expiry of deadline given by the election Commission of Pakistan to the two Federal Ministers for giving response to notices issued to them for their tirade against the ECP.

Pakistan democracy cannot afford such jolts. It has traversed a rough and bumpy road to reach where it is and no person or party should be allowed to reverse this progress. All the stakeholders need to come together to somehow save the system from further collision.

Every thing must be done to make the next elections free; fair and transparent in the true sense as per Article 218; 2019 and 226.

Now that both sides have opted to take a more considered course of action, they must avoid name calling and questioning each other’s motives.

The government should realise that Election Commission of Pakistan have full powers to disqualify the ministers for life time who have been served notices as per Article 2. A; 5; 204 in addition Articles 62 one F A and 63 one G in this critical atmosphere a working relationship among government; opposition and Election Commission of Pakistan is essential to legislative work and the governance,, both of which are adversely affected due to the ensuing rancour… as nation has seen most recently after the 2018 elections…the government should realise new realities and challenges which have to be faced in coming months.

—The writer is former Federal Secretary Election Commission of Pakistan and currently Chairman National Democratic Foundation.

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