Zardari has a point

FORMER President and PPP leader Asif Ali Zardari has said that he didn’t see general election 2018 100% free and fair. In an interview, he said candidates with Jeep symbol would be in a dictating position if they secure a big number of seats, adding that he didn’t expect political stability in the country after July 25.
Responding to a question, the former President predicted that in the forthcoming poll independent candidates would win majority of seats in Punjab.
Unfortunately, the views expressed by the PPP Co-Chairperson are shared by majority of people of Pakistan as there are clear indications of different types of rigging and unfair means. No doubt, this has been happening in all elections but the manner and magnitude of such machinations has surpassed all levels for the current election. There have been complaints that candidates are being harassed and pressurized to desert their parent parties and contest the election as independent. Earlier, such grievances were aired by Mian Nawaz Sharif but in the latest interview Mr. Asif Ali Zardari also complained of his candidates being harassed and pressurized. The situation is complicated by unending investigation and filing of references by NAB against candidates and leaders of some {particular} parties while ignoring wrongdoings of others. The way the NAB is going for wholesale investigation of development schemes and initiatives in Punjab would deter in future any official or leader to take bold decisions for the sake of the masses and the country. Timing of verdicts in cases of contempt of court is also being viewed by the aggrieved persons and their parties as part of the efforts to keep them out of electoral race. There are also allegations that the Caretaker Governments as well as the Election Commission of Pakistan are also not doing their mandated job and responsibilities as per spirit of the Constitution and the law. Affected parties allege that caretakers and ECP are taking refuge behind the lame excuse that they cannot interfere with the process of law and working of the institution. Under these circumstances, serious questions are being raised about credibility of the election and this would deprive them of the legitimacy that is a must for a stable system. The country could be the ultimate sufferer.

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