Opposition protest

THE Opposition parties, on Wednesday, staged a protest demonstration outside Secretariat of Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) against alleged rigging in the general election. Leaders of PML (N), PPP, MMA, ANP, QWP, PkMAP and National Party gathered on the Constitution Avenue along with their candidates for the election and workers to demand resignation of Election Commission members on failure of the Commission to ensure holding of free, fair and transparent polls.
Protest and agitation is surely legitimate right of the Opposition but it is important that all activities remain strictly within the bounds of law and there is no element of violence. With this in view, one must appreciate the Opposition for holding a peaceful and orderly protest and confining the event to speeches of the leaders and their media talk. The objective, as they stated, was to convey a message to the world that the election was not free and fair and the objective can be achieved through fair means. The peaceful nature of the gathering was also appreciable by a spokesman of PTI, who stated that it was right of the Opposition to demonstrate and protest. Administration also did not impose undue restrictions on movement of leaders and workers and allowed them to proceed up to the ECP premises. The Opposition plans to hold further protests both inside and outside Parliament and hopefully they would also be peaceful. We have been emphasising in these columns that Pakistan has had enough of violent politics, shutter downs and wheel-jams and cannot afford more. There is no justification for disrupting normal life as was done in Faizabad last year or inflicting harm on public and private properties. Civilised societies register protest in decent ways and we should also learn to do so for the sake of the people and the country.

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