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Monday, June 24, 2024

Shahid Khaqan admits to rigging elections, says no electoral reform can save Pakistan

In an interview, Shahid Khaqan admits to rigging elections and justifies it by saying that it has been a common practice in Pakistan since 1948. According to him, until and unless Pakistan adheres to the Constitution, election rigging will continue.

In a recent interview with Breaking Point with Malick, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Pakistan’s ex-Prime Minister admits that stealing elections is a trend in Pakistan and he himself came into power by rigging elections.

However, while talking about electoral reforms within Pakistan, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi stated that the biggest betrayal for Pakistan is stealing the elections. The root of problems within Pakistan is stealing and rigging elections, especially when it is done by Non-representative governing bodies.

Read more: I was ready to hurl shoe at Asad Qaiser, that’s my right: Shahid Khaqan Abbasi

He then criticized PM Khan by stating that the current Prime Minister of Pakistan does not know anything about the process of initiating electoral reforms. Shahid Khaqan Abbasi was referring to PTI’s recent decision to bring electoral reforms without taking the ECP in confidence first. According to him, such processes are carried out in a certain manner and through committee discussions with opposition and ECP, and are not just “bull-dozed.”

“A Parliamentary Committee is made and through a consensus, the electoral reforms are brought forward,” Shahid Khaqan explained.

Read more: ECP’s concerns over PTI’s electoral reforms bill

Muhammad Malick, the interviewer, countered Shahid Khaqan Abbasi by stating that such discussions were being carried out, and PM Khan had asked for the opposition’s input. He also stated that it seems as if PML-N has made up its mind to find fault with everything put forth by the incumbent government.

“Election rigging must be stopped”

Shahid Khaqan Abbasi then went on to say that election rigging must be stopped at all costs and the solution is not about bringing electoral reforms. The solution is in the Constitution. Until and unless Pakistan adheres to the Constitution, election rigging will continue.

He also asserted that the problem of election rigging can never be solved within Pakistan as it has been a common practice since 1948.

“We have vast experience in election rigging,” said Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.

Annoyed, Muhammad Malick then retorted by saying that the opposition accuses the Army of rigging the elections, but the opposition itself deploys the Army at the polling stations.

“We are always the sinners,” remarked Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, to which Malick stated that there is no need for sarcasm as the opposition always seeks the Army’s help during elections and it is a serious matter.

Read more: Pakistan’s undisputed establishment and the ‘strings’ attached

Shahid Khaqan then defends himself by saying that he himself has never asked for the Core Commander and the trend of rigging elections should be stopped.

Malick then reminded the ex-prime minister that he also rigged the elections in the past, to which Shahid Khaqan Abbasi responded in a confrontational manner, “I did. What will you do about it?”

Read more: Why does Shahid Khaqan Abbasi want NAB to be abolished?