Attack on ECP  


IT was one of the rare moments in the history that a sitting government opted to launch a tirade publically against a national institution and that too on pleas that are hardly acceptable to a majority of the people of Pakistan.

Three Federal Ministers, at their joint news conference in Islamabad on Monday, demanded the members of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to resign en masse, alleging that the body had ‘completely failed’ in making the Senate elections transparent.

There is universal demand that the Election Commission should have complete autonomy and must exercise its powers in a ruthless manner to ensure transparency of all elections.

The ECP is trying its level best to deliver as per its mandate and it is the responsibility of all political parties to strengthen its hands.

This is particularly so in the case of a sitting government, which should be there to shield and protect institutions when they come under undue criticism and pressure.

PTI gained a moral edge when it announced to accept the verdict of the Election Commission on controversy-ridden Daska by-elections, adding that it respects institutions and would not attack them.

However, when the election was declared null and void, uncalled for remarks were made by the party leadership and now demands are made for resignation of all its members after Senate elections.

The Election Commission maintains it acted strictly according to the Constitution as far as elections of the Senate were concerned and if the Government has any reservations it can go for legal and judicial remedy and ought not make the institution controversial.

There were similar circumstances and similar results both in the case of elections of the member of the Senate from the Federal Capital and elections for the offices of the Chairman and Deputy Chairman Senate.

However, the Government was selective in its demand for identifiable/traceable votes as it wanted the ECP to change the procedure for election of the members leaving out election of the Chairman and the Deputy Chairman.

If ECP is responsible for the shock result of Islamabad seat then who is responsible for unexpected result of elections for top two offices of the upper house as ECP was not involved in the process.

Analysts believe the Government was on a wrong wicket in its diatribe against the ECP as no saner element can defend what happened in Daska and that it is now pressurizing the Commission ahead of a verdict on party funding case and ongoing proceedings of the Supreme Court on an appeal filed by PTI candidate against verdict of ECP over Daska elections.

Both the Government and the Opposition should resist the temptation of making national institutions controversial for their petty political considerations as institutions are the real strength of the State.

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