Pressurising ECP

THE Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), on Monday, expressed satisfaction over successful and comprehensive arrangements made to hold bye-elections in NA-120 constituency of Lahore, which fell vacant due to disqualification of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif by the Supreme Court in the Panama leak case. It also thanked all institutions including Pakistan Army, Rangers and Police for extending every possible cooperation in completing the exercise in a satisfactory manner.
However, true to its tradition of making hue and cry whenever election results are not in its favour, PTI has started crying foul. Its candidate Dr. Yasmin Rashid, who otherwise campaigned and fought very well, threatened that the party would not allow the Election Commission to release official results of the elections until, what she claimed, verification of 29,607 votes. She further added that PTI will not accept the result if announced by the Commission, a tactics the party used throughout during the last four years. There are clear indications that the move is aimed at continued pressure on PML (N) despite defeat of PTI in Lahore bye-election. All independent and neutral surveys and assessments hinted before the polls that PML (N) would win the seat and there were only speculations about the quantum of lead against PTI. Therefore, it is not fair to blame the ECP for an electoral defeat that was writ large there. PTI is trying to cover up its defeat by levelling charges of pre-poll rigging but the media reported both pre-poll and polling day rigging against PML(N), therefore, no one would buy the argument now being advanced by PTI specially when all towering leaders of PTI including Jehangir Tarin and Shah Mahmood Qurehsi expressed complete faith in arrangements for elections. But Dr Yasmin’s pressure tactics is in line with her party leader who churns out statements against the ECP day in and day out. This is the kind of respect that PTI leader demonstrate for national institutions.

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