Political turmoil


Former commissioner Rawalpindi Division, Liaqat Ali Chatha has triggered political turmoil in the country by confessing that he supervised rigging in the NA and provincial assembly seats belonging to Rawalpindi Division. While accepting responsibility for this alleged fraud he also tried to implicate ECP and the Chief Justice of Pakistan in it.
Impact-wise his confession has not only reinforced the narrative of PTI and other parties regarding rigging jeopardizing the credibility of the general elections but has also provided ammunition to the detractors and enemies of Pakistan to malign and tarnish its democratic credentials.
The most unfortunate aspect of the episode is that the bulk of the media is also feverishly engaged in rubbing in the same notion without ascertaining the veracity of the claims made by the commissioner. Nobody seems prepared to give the same attention to the press conference by the new commissioner of Rawalpindi along with DROs and ROs of the rank of Deputy Commissioner and Assistant Commissioner who have strongly dismissed the claims made by Liaqat Ali Chatha. One thing worth noting is that the commissioner was not at all directly concerned with the conduct of elections. DROs and ROs were appointed by ECP and they were in direct contact with the ECP.
The ECP has constituted a high-level three-member committee to probe the allegations and submit its report within three days. What was his motive behind what he has said will surely become known after the committee submits its report. I will wait for the outcome of that report to offer more comments on this earthshaking and unprecedented convulsion of the former commissioner. At this stage, it is suffice to say that it smacks of a conspiracy to foment chaos in the country.
Meanwhile consequent upon the split mandate given by the people, no political party enjoys a simple majority and is not in a position to form government on its own at the federal level. It is rightly said that politics is the art of the possible. Accordingly, the parties are frantically engaged in exploring the possibility of forming the federal government by enlisting the support of the other parties to reach the numbers required in this regard. It is a situation where we might see strange scenarios emerging like the most hostile political entities embracing each other to clinch power; formal allies in the PDM government indulging in politicking to pressure the party having majority of national assembly seats to concede a number of pivotal positions to it including Presidency for possible support to have its nominee elected as Prime Minister without becoming part of the government.