36 C
Lahore
Monday, May 16, 2022
EditorialDuring these expeditions

During these expeditions

Ousted prime minister Imran Khan has taken the war of words against the incumbent chief election commissioner (CEC) to a new height (or low), by first calling him an agent of the PML-N, and now accusing him of taking a ‘biased decision’ against his party. Such aspersions will only weaken a constitutional body, and every future election controversial. The CEC should have kept mum on politicians’ remarks and should have spoken their actions and decisions, but to make the matters more political and controversial, the CEC has also issued a press statement to reject Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan’s allegations, saying a perception was being created that decisions were taken by an individual at the ECP, but “The Election Commission is a constitutional body which takes all decisions in light of the Constitution and the law”. Explaining the working of the commission, the statement says that all the decisions are taken with consensus which the decisions taken from January 2020 to date without a single dissenting note shows that “There is complete harmony between the CEC and the commission’s members”.

The core of the clash is the years-long foreign funding case against the PTI, which is going to be concluded soon. Over the years, the PTI has got the case adjourned on one pretext or another. The PTI says that their case is being heard unfairly while the similar cases pertaining to the foreign funding of the PPP and PML-N are being treated differently. Another issue driving a wedge between the former ruling party and the ECP is the case of PTI’s defecting MNAs, which the party wants to be decided there and then. The ECP has already taken up the case, and said it would conclude the case within 30 days. Similarly, the ECP is going to hear the 26 members of the Punjab Assembly who face a disqualification plea against them for voting Hamza Shehbaz in voting for the chief minister of Punjab. Facing so much work and burden, the ECP has been a favourite punching bag for the parties and in individuals for decades. Imran Khan, when he was in power, tried to reform poll laws, but failed for not having a majority in the assembly. Also, his government’s focus was only to get electronic voting machines, and right to vote for the overseas Pakistanis. He, however, ignored reforming and restructuring the ECP. The foreign funding case has seen several years in files; this is high time the court concluded the case.  Side by side, the ECP must take its own course regarding the filth heaping on it for vested interests.

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