Rahimia Magazine (December, 2013)
In our country, a lot of hue and cry is made about democracy. Some very attractive slogans and cosmetic actions are also carried out in the name of democracy. In this context, a frenzied activity of general elections is carried out after every five years. Especially, our media expresses a lot of sensational propaganda about the significance of these elections. Political parties, their nominated candidates and media group owners make business transactions of billions of rupees in the form of advertisements and propaganda activities. In this way, everyone receives benefits from this flowing stream of money. A stage show of elections is conducted in the veil of democracy. As a result of this pomp and show, anti-democratic and capitalist groups are entitled to enter the avenues of power and governance. In this way, servants of imperial powers are imposed on society. They perform their paramount role to flourish class system in the society. A critical analysis of this apparently vibrant activity of elections reveals that these capitalist groups perform their role to safeguard their personal, factional and class interests. Thus, by plundering the fundamental rights of common man, these looters become owners of the destiny of whole nation. Every now and then, this stage show disguised as “democracy” creates new history of exploitation, fraud and deception.
Since the 1948 referendum in North Western Frontier Province (KPK)to the present day, all the so called “elections” were maligned by extreme rigging and manipulation. In the recent elections of May 2013, counterfeiting has become evident up to a very large extent. The vote verification process carried out by NADRA in the two constituencies of Karachi has pretty much shattered the notion of 2013 elections being transparent. In a national assembly constituency of Karachi, 57,000 votes out of a total of 84,000 were invalid. Similarly, 80,000 votes were invalid in a provincial constituency. Collectively, only 27,000 votes can be verified from these two constituencies. Even international experts have authenticated this report issued by NADRA. A Prominent political party leader stated “Similar irregularities and manipulation can be observed in nearly all constituencies of the country.”
Earlier, reliable reports were declassified highlighting that out of 80 million votes, 37.5 million votes were bogus. Thus, to name these parliaments as selected by Pakistani nation is a collective disgrace to people of Pakistan and an insult to their right to vote. Can this parliament be considered as the representative of the people of Pakistan? It is not just a matter of past two elections; rather the past “democratic history” of sixty five years is evident that elections are always conducted on the guidelines of global imperialist powers and collective mandate of people is hijacked. Since 1973, all this folly is carried out under the constitutional umbrella of “Islamic Republic of Pakistan”. It is an undeniable fact that the constitutional documentation under capitalist system in the modern era of neo colonialism is not only irrelevant to interests of common people but is also against the teachings of Islam.
Elections play a pivotal and fundamental role in any democratic system. An autonomous and sovereign election commission is responsible for the execution of these elections. Unless the election commission is not completely sovereign according to democratic standards, elections cannot be truly democratic. If the rules and regulations for conducting elections are not transparent, interests of capitalist and administrative institutions are preserved and interference from ruling classes is unavoidable, then the expectation of a free and fair election is only a day dream.
What is the nature of legal aspects of Election Commission in the 1973 constitution? Answer to this question can be illustrated from an article written by a former secretary of election commission. He writes “In reality, constitution of 1973 is unable to provide any clear plan of action regarding the jurisdiction of election commission. Election commission is trapped in layered coatings of constitutional articles and regulations in a very clandestine manner. All the decision making process is carried out through election tribunals, election appellate tribunals, district returning officers, returning officers, higher and supreme courts.” While describing the “sovereignty” of election commission, he writes that election commission is not eligible to conduct any of the following activities on its own.
• Nullify election in any constituency
• Conduct a re-election in certain polling stations
• Appoint presiding staff
• Select sites for polling stations
• Enforce code of conduct
• Reject or accept nomination papers
• Prepare election results
• Recount votes in any constituency
These activities are essential part of any electoral process. While discussing further the weaknesses of election commission, he writes “It (election commission) has to receive reports from returning officers. It has been generally observed that these officers of lower judiciary are more inclined towards the instructions of their related high courts instead of following the guidelines of election commission. Moreover, appeals against decisions of returning officers are attended in appellate election tribunals. There is no role of election commission in this regard as well.” (Daily Dunya; November 10, 2013)
The helplessness of election commission can be clearly understood with the help of above mentioned facts highlighted in the article. In fact, elections held under capital protecting state institutions do not reflect public opinion. Rather, it is a “democratic arrangement” devised under the guidelines of international powers. There are reports that caretakers of major political parties were assembled in the land of our former masters. All of our “political leaders” agreed to the governmental arrangement proposed by international capitalist stakeholders. These imperial masters of our fate had pre decided about the rule of particular parties in the center and in different provinces. Final results of May 2013 elections are prepared according to the predefined pattern. In spite of rigging and manipulation at a miserable level, all political parties and their “political leaders” have accepted this political arrangement. This clearly indicates that local representatives of global capitalism are bound to conform to these electoral results. These “leaders” use politics as a tool to safeguard the interests of their local and foreign masters.
In the modern world, a political system based on democratic foundations plays a vital role in the progress of any nation. Democratic institutions with transparency, accountability and national approach pave way to the solution of national problems. Personality based system with totalitarianism, anti-national and non-institutional approach results in the destruction and misery of whole nation. A system serving the interests of foreign powers and privileged classes becomes a catastrophe for humanity. This anti-national system devised on the instructions of our imperial masters is actually the root cause of problems of Pakistan. This system misuses the attractive theme of “democracy” and performs its exploitative role against common citizens of state.
National reconstruction according to teachings of Islam primarily focuses on attaining liberty from foreign imperialist powers. Moreover, these teachings create consciousness about political, economic and social decisions based on democratic ethics and national sovereignty. This raises dignity and respect of the whole nation. Islamic teachings infuse revolutionary approach and ideology in every believer. It is the responsibility of every Pakistani to understand reality of this so called “democracy”. Moreover, he should participate in the struggle to safeguard national democratic objectives. This struggle should be based on nonviolence and revolutionary principles of social change so that our country can cover the landmarks of progress and prosperity.
Translation By: Muhammad Usman, Faisalabad