News Analysis |
Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, the Prime Minister of Pakistan, recently repeated the claims once made by the embattled Sharif family. These claims confirmed his belief in the presence of imaginary ‘aliens’ in the country, before being upbraided by the Election Commission of Pakistan.
Abbasi participated in a dinner hosted by Mr. Ayaz Sadiq, a speaker at the National Assembly, where he announced that aliens will be conducting the country’s elections instead of an interim set up. After quoting the influence of ‘aliens’, Abbasi affirmed that the ruling Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz will contest the elections.
He also mentioned that the elections will take place in the next two months instead of three, which is after the establishment of a caretaker set up. The comments of Premier Abbasi were shot down by the Election Commission of Pakistan, in less than a day’s time.
The disqualification of the former Foreign Minister, Khawaja Asif, was also due to a legal injunction and the Islamabad High Court categorically remarked that the lawmaker was not even eligible to contest in 2013 polls.
The election regulator issued a statement on Friday calling the Prime Minister’s remarks against the spirit of the constitution and its mandate.“ECP is completely ready to hold the 2018 General Elections and is entirely independent when it comes to its legal and constitutional responsibilities,” stated the body.
Moreover, an ECP spokesperson cautioned the public office bearers to refrain from making statements based on speculations and hearsay. However, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi is not the first person to allude to ‘aliens’ in his political understanding of affairs. The term was first coined by his predecessor, Nawaz Sharif, who was disqualified on account of the case of Panama Papers.
Recently, Sharif used the term while addressing his party loyalists in Sahiwal on Tuesday. Nawaz Sharif, in his traditional humble-laden boasts, expressed that his contest in the upcoming elections is not with Pakistan People’s Party co-chairman, Asif Ali Zardari, or Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chairman, Imran Khan, but with the aliens. The 68-year-old Sharif has been long decrying the role of hidden forces in obstructing political players and has now challenged to oust them in the next electoral tussle.
Apart from Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz, has also been vocal against the hidden forces in the political landscape of the country. However, both Sharif and his daughter fall short on proving such allegations. Maryam Nawaz also vowed to defeat said forces in the general elections 2018 as she appeared before the accountability court, a day earlier. The elder Sharif has been apprehensive of the role of ‘hidden forces’ ever since his political career was sealed for life by the apex court, but he has not yet shown the guts to publically name and shame such forces.
Nawaz Sharif, in his traditional humble-laden boasts, expressed that his contest in the upcoming elections is not with Pakistan People’s Party co-chairman, Asif Ali Zardari, or Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chairman, Imran Khan, but with the aliens.
The struggling Sharif family cites multiple factors to accredit their assertions, ignoring the numerous restrictions placed on them for crossing red lines time and again. The ban on anti-judiciary remarks by the Lahore High Court came after the former premier and former first daughter hurled scathing allegations against the superior judiciary. Nawaz Sharif has categorically remarked that the judges investigating him, are doing so under a harbored grudge.
Moreover, the top court did not disqualify Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chief, Imran Khan, when blamed in a similar fashion, so Sharif went a mile ahead and blamed the bench for wrongly advocating for Khan. However, the ban is not limited to the Sharif family and in fact applies to each and every person of the country.
Moreover, the Sharifs still decry the disqualification of Nawaz Sharif as party president, but, experts claim that the decision was in line with legal injunctions and applied to every political worker deemed unfit to hold public office. The contest of PML-N candidates in Senate elections, as independents, was also due to one technical glitch: as a headless party cannot issue tickets. The Sharifs again saw hidden forces at play and reiterated their claims after the results.
The disqualification of the former Foreign Minister, Khawaja Asif, was also due to a legal injunction and the Islamabad High Court categorically remarked that the lawmaker was not even eligible to contest in 2013 polls. Ironically, this took place when ‘hidden forces’ were not yet a concern of PML-N.
Abbasi participated in a dinner hosted by Mr. Ayaz Sadiq, a speaker at the National Assembly, where he announced that aliens will be conducting the country’s elections instead of an interim set up.
The assertion of Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi seems unfounded because the superior judiciary will be conducting upcoming elections with strict check and balance. Though PML-N has been lashing out at its arch-rival, PTI, for staging sit-ins over trivial issues, it is a matter of fact that we owe the transparency of the upcoming elections and the adoption of standard procedures – from filling forms 13 and 14 to the overseas voting facility – to the same PTI.
The conduct displayed by Chief of Army Staff, General Qamar Javed Bajwa and the Chief Justice of Pakistan, Mian Saqib Nisar, depicts that the upcoming elections might be the most transparent elections in the history of Pakistan.
The only factor behind the fearful commentary of Sharifs can be a probable defeat, which is written on the walls due to multiple factors ranging from administrative flaws to governance failures by the incumbent regime.