By Akhtar Malik 27 Oct 2013
I am always a proponent of democracy and want that the will and sentiments of the people should be reflected in the parliament / government through their elected representatives. I wish that true representatives of the people should perform so well that the nation should never remember or recall the ‘dark periods’ of martial laws. I also believe that the collective wisdom of the masses is mostly right. But the question arises: Is this the real collective wisdom that has manifested in the shape of recent election results? This question will remain hanging like a sword on the heads of the rulers and will keep them haunting till they prove through transparent investigations that the mandate was genuine and was obtained in fair manner.
The ‘landslide victory’ of PML-N in Punjab has astonished the analysts. Though the surveys had estimated an edge of PML-N over PTI in Punjab but it was just an edge. The success of PML-N should have conformed to the estimated popularity of NS at the best. The people of Punjab had seen NS as their PM twice and PML-N ruling the province 5 times. Should we conclude that people of Punjab were so myopic in their vision that they committed such a blunder in elections which could lead to their collective suicide? Or their collective wisdom is so defective that they remained oblivious to the future of their children even? No. I will never say that, because I know the people of Punjab very well. I know how they had rejected the false charisma of Bhuttoism just after his first stunt in power from 1972-77, and then PPP was never able to form government there. So there have to be more plausible reasons for this fiasco.
In Sindh, PPP has got more votes now than they got in 2008 elections. Please note that in 2008 there was a factor of sympathy with BB. The treatment that has been meted to the people of Sindh by PPP government in their 5-year tenure would not have earned them even 50 % of the votes that they have got. The plight of flood effected people, the exploitation by feudal lords and lawlessness / dakoo raj in interior Sindh have made the lives miserable. Similarly MQM was allowed to hold sway in Karachi and other urban areas by not allowing the Army to stay inside the polling stations. The false mandate of MQM is being exposed through checking of thumb impressions and will further break their myth.
It was only in KPK that the election results have, by and large, corresponded with the survey reports of party popularity. It seems that the managers of election had decided to stay away from any interference there and let the things move the way they were. Had the elections been manipulated in KPK we would have seen ANP/PPP winning again. I don’t say that there has been no rigging in KPK at all. It may have happened but I have base by assessment on the election results vis a vis the pre-election survey reports, which negates the chances of massive rigging in that province.
In Baluchistan the election results have been by and large genuine, mostly conforming to the tribal and Sardari culture, barring a few incidents of rigging. One of the MNAs has been elected by just bagging 500 plus from Awaran area. One can debate whether the person can be termed as a true representative of the people of that area or not.
The plan of the managers of elections seemed to be to maintain status quo in the political paradigm of Pakistan by using Punjab as power base, allow PPP / MQM to hold sway in Sindh, let the events move in KPK in normal manner to allow PTI to make a fragile government there, and let the political parties in Baluchistan get a fragmented mandate in order to cobble a suitable government there.
The rulers who come to power through genuine mandate always keep the welfare and interests of the people on top priority. They are more concerned about the safety of the people, their economic uplift and development, rather than securing their own political futures and family business empires. The genuine rulers would never let their nation down in the eyes of the hostile neighbors or international community. This is because they know that if they deviate from the public interests, they will be voted out next time. But those who come to power through stolen or fake mandate, remain oblivious to the public interests. One can always observe them to be indifferent, withdrawn, intimidated, in low morale and guilty-conscious from their body language.
Though many of my friends may not consider it fair to pass a judgement about the present mandate being stolen or fake, till it is proved through impartial and transparent investigations (which the present system will never allow), but for me ‘The actions speak louder than the words’. Whatever we see on ground, whether happening to the poor people of Pakistan or during our interaction with international communities, makes me believe that the present mandate is essentially fake and cannot be termed as COLLECTIVE WISDOM of the unfortunate people of this land.
Akhtar Malik is a freelance writer and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org