Need to ensure impartiality of institutions

  • Things are happening that should have better been avoided

Bilwal Bhutto’s convoy was pelted with stones in Karachi’s Lyari where anti-PPP and anti-democracy forces have been active for quite sometime. The PPP has complained of inadequate security provided to the PPP leader whose party held second largest position in the last NA. Compared to this, one hundred police personnel were posted at Imran Khan’s Banigala residence besides dozens others at the road leading to the house. The administration also sent a request to deploy 300 Rangers personnel to provide security to the house. What is this if not partiality?

One appreciates CJ Saqib Nisar’s penchant for better medical facilities for the common man. This explains his directions to the National Engineering Service officials to provide the SC a briefing on the Rawalpindi Child and Mother Hospital project. The CJ then visited the hospital site at the request of a leader contesting elections from the area where among other things the CJ praised him before the media for “doing a great job”. No eyebrows would have been raised if the CJ had postponed the visit till after the elections on July 25.

Rana Iqbal Siraj, PML-N candidate from Multan, alleged that he was tortured by the personnel of a secret agency over his refusal to withdraw from the upcoming election, leading Nawaz Sharif to accuse security agencies of forcing PML-N candidates to change loyalties. The later denial by Siraj attributing the incident to agriculture department looks doubtful as the department could by no stretch of imagination be interested in his politics.

ANP chief Asfandyar Wali has maintained that the development schemes were still being executed in the province to help a certain party which left a question mark on the credibility of ECP.

Democracy in Pakistan will remain unsustainable unless buttressed by strong institutions. The institutions however have to be unbiased and remain within limits defined by the law and constitution. Most of all they have to be seen to be even-handed by the people. This is needed all the more during the pre-election period for any perception of partiality on their part is likely to make the elections controversial.