ESTABLISHMENT FIXING THE 2018 ELECTIONS – THE HORSE TRADING ADVANTAGE

ESTABLISHMENT FIXING THE 2018 ELECTIONS – THE HORSE TRADING ADVANTAGE

Islamabad High Court judge accuses ISI of meddling in the judicial process. A Pakistani high court judge alleged that the country’s premiere intelligence agency is meddling in the judicial processes to get favorable verdicts in different cases, especially concerning PMLN and the ousted PM Nawaz Sharif.

The High Court Judge Justice Shaukat Siddque openly lashed out the military and the ISI for pressurizing and controlling the judiciary and the media amidst ongoing general elections.

“Today the judiciary and media have come in the control of Bandoook Walas. The Judiciary is not independent. Even media is getting directions from the military”, the justice accused.

The judge also blamed the ISI for interfering in the formation of the court benches. He said he was not allowed to sit in the bench hearing the appeal of Nawaz and Maryam against the Avenfield Corruption case. Justice Shaukat Siddique said that the establishment is rigging the general elections by making sure that Nawaz and his daughter are not released from the jail before 25th of July.

He also added that ISI offered him withdrawal of a reference against him if he agreed on cooperation with the establishment. He was promised the post of Chief Justice but he says that he rejected it. “I refused as I believe that it is better to die than sell my conscience” he said.

Justice Shaukat Siddique isn’t the first and only person to lash out the establishment’s role in fixing the general elections. The debate has been going on for quite some time now, and as the days are passing the narrative of establishment’s involvement in the political affairs is gaining heat and momentum.

Hanif Abaasi, who was the strongest candidate of the NA-60 RWP against Sheikh Rasheed has been struck off to enable the PTI supporter win the seat. Hanif Abbasi has been sentenced to life imprisonment in the edephrine case. There were other criminals involved in the case but the timing of the decision has yet again affirmed the role of establishment in the political engineering. Even if that is not true, the Selective Justice is definitely bringing no good to this country, and its so called democracy.

Following the arrest of Hanif Abbasi, the controversy has gained more heat and the political environment in the country is boiling. In a highly unusual development. Anti-ISI slogans were raised by the supporters of Pakistan’s mainstream political party, the PML (N) and others outside General Headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi.

The supporters of the PMLN and the ousted PM Nawaz Sharif shouted slogans like “ISI Murdabad” and “Yeh jo Deshsad Gardi Hai Uske Peche Wardi Hai”. The PML (N) staged the protest against the Controls of Narcotics Substances (CNS) Court’s verdict in Ephedrine smuggling case, sending PMLN leader Hanif Abbasi to jail for life.

The supporters of the PMLN are furious and so are the workers of other parties that oppose the PTI. They fear that the involvement of establishment in the general elections will blemish the democracy of the country. They feel that Imran Khan’s PTI is receiving a lot of favors and support from the non-democratic actors and it is the reason behind the growing popularity of Tehreek e Insaaf. The contestants are sensing extreme biases and they fear the outcome of the elections would be completely unfair, considering the total wipeout of the PMLN from the landscape.

What really gives the non-political actors to meddle in the democratic affair of the country is horse-trading. We breathe in a society where majority either don’t know the meaning of horse trading or the same majority do not think this as something condemnable. To buy conscience of any politician, any representative of the common people is the main feature of the hourse trading. Unfortunately, our institutions are full of such conscience-less individuals, who are available for sale 24/7.

I strongly object to the use of the term horse-trading. A horse is a loyal animal but the term horse-trading is used for sell-outs who betray their parties for temporary benefits. Candidates are mostly handpicked by all powerful party heads. Cronies are accommodated in the house. Loyalties are shifted overnight and one is not surprised to see the turncoats returning to the house under a different party banner each time. Money can buy a party ticket or even a seat in the house standing as an independent.

The horse trading is a phenomena that was introduced to our politics by former president Asif Zardari. He joined hands with the PML-Q whom he used to refer as Qatil Party prior to elections. But he and his party didn’t hesitate once before shaking hands with the PMLQ to collaborate in Balochistan.

Similarly, Nawaz and his party also took great advantage of this trade and they kept on buying conscience and loyalties for millions of rupees to gain power in the 2013 elections.

Jatoi family is one of the most prominent political party that accepts money for shifting loyalty. The Gondal family, Chaudhry Pervez Elahi, Raja Basharat, Raja Riaz,, Chaudhry Sarwar they were all the loyal companions of General Pervez Musharraf. But when odds were against PMLQ, they didn’t mind shaking hands with Asif Ali Zardari and didn’t mind chanting anti PMLQ slogans against their former leader. After the Zardari’s regime came to an end, all these betrayers and defectors were seen warmly welcomed by the PMLN assisting in clean sweep in 2013 elections.

Fazl ur Rehman needs special mention when talking about horse trading. The persistent supporter of the N league and recently come out in open support of Imran Khan and his party.

Today, perhaps all these disloyal and conscience less people are again available for sale. This time the establishment is believed to be stocking up these horses. It is now establishment’s turn to take advantage of the horse trading and buy all possible unfaithful defectors of the political parties to ensure Imran Khan’s success in the general elections. These favor-shifting individuals are known as “Lotas” and they naturally tend to move wherever the supply of water is the most.

Gulzar Sibtain, Ahmed Shah Ghaka, Dewan Azmat, Dr Amir Liaquat, Zafar Ullah Jamali, Firdous Ahiq Awan, Zulfiqar Khosa and sons, Hamad Nasir Chattha, Sardar Asif Nakayi. They are all the horses in the race that are willing to sell their loyalties for a handsome amount of money. They don’t mind joining hands with one party and returning with another party’s banner in exchange of money. These horses lack self realization and therefore, they will never be able to represent the common public and work for their interests.

It is pertinent for the common people to make a wise decision before casting their votes on 25 July. You may not be supporting a certain party but if you are even voting for an independent contestant make sure that he isn’t a conscience less person who would shatter your hopes and make your lives miserable in exchange for some amount of money.

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