Electoral Process?


Hafeez Khan

Halaku (Hulagu) Khan was a Mongol ruler who conquered most of Western Asia, laying the basis for the Persian Empire in the 13th century. He sacked and destroyed Baghdad thereby ending the Islamic Golden Age. According to historians, Halaku had a shock and awe strategy to soften opponents at the start of his campaigns. When he faced his first resistance, he would use his utmost might to prevail. Once the enemy was overrun, he would mercilessly slaughter the locals and dismember their bodies.
There was no media then and everything was visual. Thus to create fear, he would build pillars of skulls of the vanquished. It would terrorize the entire region, taking away the will to resist his onslaught. A thousand years later the same strategy is being deployed. Shock and awe are being achieved through fear and terror using the tools of the 21st century.
The tactics have evolved. Dissidents are kidnapped, tortured and brutalized.
Another spice has been added: the psyche warfare deployed by the Nazis to pulverize opponents and break their will to resist. IK is the biggest obstacle in their way. Hence, the entire system is geared to remove PTI from the electoral process. They have adopted a multi-faceted approach to control media, judiciary, bureaucracy, civil society, business elite and politicians. Let us peel their workings in each sector.
General Musharraf has the credit of opening up free media in Pakistan. Over time, some credible names have emerged. Post-April 2022, this was unacceptable to the imported regime led by Shahbaz Sharif and his handlers. The most respectable and credible voice of Arshad Sharif was silenced. Imran Riaz Khan was a thorn. He suffered the worst form of mistreatment. This brutal suppression has escalated and the media is completely stifled either through terrorizing or bribery. IK’s name is the “forbidden fruit” and shameless big names have surrendered unconditionally. The few left standing are braving their way despite immense pressure; or escaped Pakistan to continue stating the truth on social media. Kudos to the brave.
No nation can prosper without the rule of law. However, an independent judiciary is unacceptable. CJ Islamabad is the lead star in this process and it seems the Supreme Court may be headed the same way. Lower court judges are dime a dozen. All of them together have made mincemeat out of the Constitution and rule of law. There is a ray of hope amongst Justices of Supreme and High Court who have stood their ground; they are our heroes in these ghastly times.
Our bureaucracy has become spineless and completely lost any moral compass. Conducting the elections has been handed over to these bureaucrats who have carried out an incessant campaign against PTI workers and leaders. The deputy commissioners and DPOs have been waging a relentless war against PTI supporters never seen before in Pakistan. How can you expect a free and fair election through them?
The biggest villain amongst them all is the CEC. Each day is worse than the last.
The civil society and business elite’s silence on the injustice being meted out is deafening.
Then there are our politicians. They fall into two clear categories. The first are exploiters and looters led by Nawaz, Zardari and Fazal. They have been joined by opportunists. The 2nd category who have sided with IK in seeking change, are suffering brutal persecution unseen in Pakistan.
A level playing field has become an illusion. The whole process has been contaminated and elections are becoming farcical. There are tons of incidents circulating on social media about it.
Elections are a measure of popular will. The voters have clearly expressed their preference.
What purpose will this fraudulent election serve? Laws and the Constitution have no meaning anyway.