Imran decision to contest on 9 NA constituencies raised many questions on election laws; wastage of resources

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Fakhar Alam

PESHAWAR : Following acceptance of 11 resignations of PTI lawmakers by the Speaker National Assembly (NA) and election schedule by the Election Commission, the decision of former Prime Minister Imran Khan to contest byelection on nine constituencies was being considered as an irrational approach by the political observers and raised many questions on election laws.

The decision of Imran Khan, who enjoyed absolute powers in centre for nearly four years and his party was ruling in Punjab and Khyber Pakthunkhwa, to contest byelection on 9 NA constituencies including four in KP simultaneously has surprised many political observers calling it an illogical and waste of energy besides raised questions on the country’s election laws.

Ikhtiar Wali Khan, PMLN spokesman and member provincial assembly told APP that decision of Imran to contest byelection from nine seats has exposed his doubled standard politics and disregards for his political workers.

He said Imran Khan decision has exposed his nervousness after the verdict of Election Commission, which testified that PTI has taken huge foreign funds from prohibited sources.

Wali questioned that how Imran Khan would face people of Pakistan after he was declared a certified liar following submission of fake documents to the ECP.

“I asked how a foreign funded party would protect the country and people’s interest.”

Wali said that disqualification of Imran under articles 62 and 63 of the constitution was imminent after ECP verdict.

Rather to help flood victims of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab, he said Imran Khan was trying to raise his dwindling popularity and diverting people attention from ECP verdict.

He said Imran cannot mislead masses any more on early election demands as he had neither dissolved Punjab and KP assemblies nor was allowing his party workers to contest byelections.

Professor Dr Khursheed Ahmad of the International Relations Department, University of Peshawar said that it’s quite abnormal to contest byelection on nine parliamentary seats simultaneously by a political leader in the country. 

“Imran’s decision has raised several questions regarding elections laws, ongoing political situation, personalization of politics, general competence, people trust, heroism and above all, the bipartisan trends,” he told APP.

“I think Imran Khan was trying to convey a message that PTI was only him with a big mass behind him and if his party was banned in the wake of ECP verdict in foreign funding case, then he can relaunch it with another name by evening,” he said.

Dr Khursheed questioned that if a political leader doesn’t value the current parliament for power during its last year and tendered collective resignations then why he was contesting byelection on nine seats of NA at a time when general election was nearer.

He said by winning many seats in byelection and then quitting would serve no purpose but the wastage of time and resources of Govt, ECP and political workers.

By winning many seats and then tendering resignations, he said Imran was passing a clear message that new elections were the only wayout.

He said Imran Khan decision would also waste the much needed energy of PTI on ‘useless’ activities and divert his workers attention from the demands of early election.

Dr Khursheed Ahmad said Imran Khan has challenged the president of PDM to contest election against him, adding the loser or winner would be the ultimate decision of people trust on either side.

He said If Imran Khan wins with a 2/3 majority trends, it would likely to dilute all the possibilities to disqualify him.

Dr Khursheed said his win will justify him that he was the only popular leader of the country and would give him the chance to talk openly on the presidential system.

Raising questions about elections laws, he said that why the election law permits a person to contest from several constituencies in a time and resignations of only 11 MMAs are accepted if 135 have tendered their.

He asked that why Pakistan couldn’t dissolve the personalization of politics like that of India and somehow Bangladesh and why not a parliament tenure is rationally fixed to correspond to people changed mood.

Dr Khursheed claimed that If Imran was not allowed to contest elections, he would have enough stuff to boycott and launch a nationwide protest.

“If Imran was disqualified before the by-elections, his voters would call it an odd way of rigging. In case he was disqualified after the elections, then his voters’ feelings may be hurt.”

Dr Khursheed said the PDM has mainly left with two options either to allow Imran to contest from all the nine constituencies or block him as a candidate. 

In the 1st scenario, he said the allied parties may be in need of statesmanship while in the latter case they may waste energies, saved for upcoming stage of politics.