In yet another controversial judgment, the Supreme Court bench headed by CJP Saqib Nisar has suspended an order by the Lahore High Court for a vote recount in NA-131 Lahore where Imran Khan, the prime ministerial hopeful, has claimed victory over PMLN stalwart Khawaja Saad Rafique by a margin of 608 votes. The judgment is extraordinary because of the circumstances relating to the election in this constituency.
Punjab is the bastion of the PMLN and Lahore is the jewel in the crown. A loss for Imran Khan in Lahore after seeming to win the Punjab would have been grist for the mills of naysayers alluding to massive rigging in the province.
Saad Rafique had earlier justified his demand for a recount of rejected votes when Imran Khan’s lead was whittled down from 680 to 608. But his subsequent demand for a full vote recount – given the narrow margin of victory — was inexplicably turned down by the Returning Officer despite the law allowing for a full recount where the margin of victory is less than 5% (total votes cast were about 170,000). Saad Rafique’s appeal against the RO’s decision was upheld by the LHC which ordered the Election Commission of Pakistan to withhold the result until the recount. Now the SC has stayed the LHC order (which means that Imran stands elected) until it hears both sides at its convenience. In effect this means that Imran will be well and truly ensconced as prime minister of Pakistan without the negativity attached to a possible loss in NA-131. Indeed, the likelihood is that he will shortly ditch NA-131 in favour of a constituency where his winning lead is unchallengeable, thus making the SC writ infructuous after the ECP calls for a fresh election in this constituency. So we will never know whether he was a true winner or a sore loser in the first place, a neat solution that protects him from being tarred by a loss while enabling Saad Rafique to have another go at testing his fortunes in the more difficult environment of a post-PTI government in Punjab.
This is just the latest example of the charmed fortunes of the “ladla” of this generation. Imran has emerged unscathed from a battery of perfectly reasonable cases challenging his morality, his declaration of assets, his contemptuous remarks about the ECP, and other “careless” omissions and commissions, etc, while lesser mortals like Nawaz Sharif and Mariam Sharif have been shunted to prison and disqualified from parliament for failing to declare petty “unreceived” incomes (construed as assets!) or using type fonts not generally in the free public domain in certain property trust deeds.
If Imran leads a “favoured” life, why is he looking so deadbeat and forlorn these days? One would have thought his life’s ambition to be prime minister and change Pakistan for good would have brought colour to his face and a glint in his eye as he nears his objective. But the challenges ahead are truly formidable and these seem to be dampening his spirit as they dawn on him.
Imran’s victory is due to many compromises for which he must now atone. For starters, the “electables” and independents who have cleaved to the PTI’s bosom are already clamouring for a slice of the ministerial action even before they have given him their formal vote of confidence in parliament. Most of them are corrupt and disreputable to their Peshawari chappals, which makes it difficult for Imran to scratch their backs. If the power grab over the KPK CMship is any indication of what lies in store, he is in for a lot of soul searching in Punjab and Islamabad for “neat and clean” candidates to fit the bill. The Miltablishment, which has invested heavily in him, is also breathing down his neck (albeit discreetly) for its own pound of flesh. Say this, don’t do that, select her, drop him, seems to be the whisper of the day. On top of it, Mrs Peerni Khan’s invocations can only be ignored at peril. The constant jostling between Jahangir Tareen and Shah Mahmood Qureshi must take a toll too as must the shrill reprimands of the PTI ideologues who are swamped by turncoats and opportunists. No wonder Imran has kept his “lists” of favoured sons of the soil close to his chest. Any premature revelations may spark revolts that could breach the narrow voting on D-Day. What follows that hallowed point for the first 100 days in which unpopular decisions about the economy have to be taken is too painful a prospect to contemplate.
Imran means well. There is no doubt about it. That is the sole reason why many have voted for him despite misgivings about his “end justifies means” approach and controversial personal life choices and standards. Even if he succeeds in half-fulfilling his mission, it will have been worth the price we have paid in mocking democracy and constitutionalism. But if he should fail, the tab will be greater because there is no back up except takeover by The Aliens.
Mr Bajwah has not sustained internal pressure of his institution thereby had let them do whatever they wanted he will also not sustain pressure from opposition for demand for fair and free elections in coming months. In this scenario what first 100 days.
I tell you what these cunning planted elements know quiet precisely they are not going to stay there but for few months so we can forecast damage done to national exchequer as well as to social fabrics of society after they are ousted. So dear Politicians dear Pakistan lovers hurry up!
This week’s editorial seethes with revulsion; the origin of which I’m not concerned with. What is more concerning is the lack of slack we give to every incoming PM.
Lesser mortals in the face of NS and MN are just a puppet face that twisted the handlers’ hands and desisted from dancing to the tunes. Handlers nevert give a free hand and the handled never go scott-free.
History always teaches us this but the ones being taught never learn. Even if Imran is being handled, your words have just tightened the handlers noose around him. Plaudits and good wishes will just do fine for now.
Nobody can put it so accurately and clearly as you can. This is what we miss on TV these days. But I understand your move to not resign from PCB instead wait for IK to make a move. That way if a new PCB chairman blunders with the glorious achievements of your tenure, it will be disasterous for IKs repute as a statement and chief patron of cricket. So stay put and let IK take the plunge.
Imran Khan used to speak lies when he didn’t need to. For example in his early days in politics he would so often boast off his Master in political science at Oxfords. Years later it turned out to be a false claim. In his prime time in cricket he quit Pakistan time cricket for Kerry Packer of Australia despite appeals by cricket lovers.His response to PCB and his fans was even more hurtful when he said he was a professional cricketer and therefore would play for anyone who offer him more money. Jamaima then Reham and now third wife saga shows that he is a materialist to the core. A materialist can be anything but a sincere person. I don’t agree with the author that Imran Khan means well.
He ‘means well’ to what his colorful life speaks. Actions speak louder than words.
Pakistan Tera Khuda Khafiz.
One “Ladla” you haven’t mentioned is the dishonorable Chief Justice who is acting as a political party of one on behalf of the khalai makhlook. When fortunes change and change they will that Ladla who has made a mockery of the rule of law will also be put on the slaughter board, some will see it as divine Justice, others as “rules of the game.”
that is the plot. they are perfectly there. they have discredited nawaz , zardari was notorious from day one. only man left untried n tested and with so called financial credibility among a section of nation was imran. lets give him a year. he will fall under is own weight and a prefect time to rule for another 25-40 years. meray aziz humwatnoo coming. the real politics of nawaz n vote ko izzat do will come in to play when the time has come for imran. if nawaz stays neutral or dont let imran to fall we will enter in the real phase of democracy.
Since election 2018 was a decisive and dominating episode of an operation to oust PMLN (perhaps named Rudd-ul-PMLN by Miltablishment, who have a tendency to promote Persian and Arabic over native languages named operations, products and projects in order to prove the custodianship of Pakistan ideology as eastward extension of Arabia through Iran and Afghanistan), the election results do not deserve rational/ scientific analysis. The propaganda in Pakistani media is that PTI won due to young, educated, middle class urban and women votes whereas the reality is that PTI won in the “Bible Belt” (western Pakistan stretching from tribal area, passing through north Punjab and ending in south Punjab) and PMLN won in “Bread Basket (central Punjab) of Pakistan. Therefore PTI actually won deeply conservatives, illiterate, rural and uneducated folks on the basis of electables. It does not matter if many electables lost because their vote counted as PTI vote bank of 17 million voters.
Without bringing any other factor here, it is difficult to be hopeful; why then pretend to wish IK government well. Not only that a party proven by voters to be on the right side of right-of-center PMLN but pea-sized brain in terms of a smart and clear plan to serve Pakistan through governance makes all talks of personal honesty and dishonesty of winners and losers respectively a useless discussion.
He talks well, let’s see if he can walk well. Give him a chance , could’nt be worse than what we had !
“controversial personal life choices and standards.”
Mr Sethi. I have never heard you talk about life choices of Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz sharif. I am sure Shahbaz Sharif choices are more interesting than IK and what about standards? Hamza Shahbaz and Mariam`s standards. Lets not get there.
Well meaning, rich, and prosperous nations are reeling lately. Heck even Canada is in trouble for saying the truth about the disgraced and corrupt KSA. Pakistan’s overt and covert masters are living in la la land, if they think that Pakistan is going forward with politicians like Imran, Nawaz, or Zardari. Pakistan has no chance of success, no chance whatsoever. Farce of 25 July is going to haunt Pakistan and it’s military and judiciary for a long long time.
If they have an ounce of decency and self respect, all these doomsayers should eat their hats, if Khan manages to deliver what he has promised. His lifelong track record speaks for him. Can we name a single, I repeat, a single Pakistani politician who can match this?
And still have the cheek to talk like this!
Shame on us!!
Well arrange marriages usually last long in Pakistan but this one does not seem like lasting very long it is mind boggling to see PPP in Sindh performed so poorly for last 5 year’s and wins majority government and Punjab government which was well ahead and better management was cut to pieces I mean what the heck we are not blind even though we pretend to be I would rather prefer Najam comes back to his Den where he belongs but again the way media is being managed right now I doubt he will be or allowed to give his honest and no hold bars opinion on TV again in near future Al least.
Khan’s constant deals with the “aliens” for power alone is going to haunt PM elect till he too is booted out unceremoniously like his predecessor NS… I guess within a year!
This Pakistan’s unsavoury political history to which Khan is the reluctant new entrant…
The proverbial “witches of Macbeth” would be brewing a deadly cocktail for PTI from which there is no seems no escape… and he will do so to his own peril !
I wonder if the Peerni Khan can allay his genuine fears and ward off the spell of a deadly cocktail of “aliens, corruptibles’ and the sort” he has collected all along to reach the pinnacle of power !
Quite a climb down from the moralistic mumbo – jumbo that is his wont ! now is time to come down to face the music !
Happy going Khan sahib!