Bloodied By-elections

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It is not possible for all parties to win any election but considering the tendencies of sour players to lash out guns and transform the ballot into a battlefield, it would have been better for architects of modern democracy to carve out a somewhat better plan. What transpired in Karachi during by-polls in NA-240 on Thursday was nothing out of the ordinary because violence has become a regular feature of the election season. However, the one who was shot dead and 12 others landing in the hospital did not deserve such a dreary plunge.
No matter how loudly the Election Commission may sound the alarm bells, just one spark is enough to burn the entire jungle down. In this case, Pak Sarzameen Party, Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan and Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan are all pointing fingers at each other. Nevertheless, the chequered past of MQM when it comes to turning tables and rubberstamping their own victory cannot be ignored. Similarly distasteful has been the notorious TLP and its obsession with kicking the writ of the state outside the window. There is a long list of tough questions for the city administration regarding the tolerance of “terrorist elements” and busying itself with the politics of sloganeering instead of getting about the duties of its actual mandate. Simply holding fingers and giving passionate press statements cannot swish the magic wand especially when the selfless Edhi Foundation was pitifully embroiled in the clash of the clans.
Karachi has had a long-drawn-out run with political parties allowed to party according to their whims. The metropolitan is in no mood to repeat the horrors of the 80s and the 90s where stray bullets roamed around; waiting to hit their targets left, right and centre. It can only be hoped that sanity would prevail well before the ground is paved for the next round of general elections. After all, the stakes are already too high to let one bad episode ruin the entire broth.