Hanif Abbasi NA-60 is the Next Pawn to be Struck before Elections
The General Elections 2018 has seen several disqualification cases of leading contestants from major political parties of Pakistan. A general perception among the people can been seen that even the senior and well sung politicians of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) faced strict scrutiny on the basis of Article 62(1) of the constitution. Many politicians had to face the fateful disqualification along with humiliation. However, are these judicial decisions impartial, fair and free?
The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Wednesday rejected Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Hanif Abbasi’s review petition against holding ephedrine case hearings on a daily basis. The high court, however, has complete authority to do so under Article 203 of the constitution. Abbasi, a former Member of the National Assembly (MNA) from Rawalpindi is expected to face a tough electoral contest on July 25 with Sheikh Rasheed, who is allied with PML-N’s chief opponent Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). It seems that the strong contestants are the targets and the situations for disqualification is staged to clear the elections playing ground for PTI.
Hanif Abbasi might be the next pawn of the game that the non-democratic actors might strike in order to completely and permanently eliminate his influence from the NA-60 constituency. The establishment will leave no stone unturned considering the complete wipeout of PMLN and its supporters. Hanif Abbasi was inidcted in the ephedrine case in 2011. Yet he was not disqualified from running political campaigns and was allowed to run in the 2013 general elections. People suspected his disqualification but he came out victoriously and won from the NA 60 in 2013. Since then he has been convicted in the controlled drug case several times but never has he ever disqualified from running in the elections. Today, the odds are against him just as they are for every worker, every supporter and every leader of the Nawaz party. The establishment is in full swing and it has been working relentlessly to ensure Imran Khan’s success in the elections this year. All the factors have been forced to favor the victory of PTI and to help the easily controllable party form the new government.
To make sure strongholds of the PMLN can be crushed at all levels, the next target is more likely to be Hanif Abbasi. The NA 60 is guaranteed to Abbasi and therefore, his removal from that constituency is important. It is important to help Sheikh Rasheed win from NA 60 this time. Sources have predicted that Hanif Abbasi will be soon disqualified and he would have to step down before the elections. It is feared by the PMLN workers that Abbasi will be removed from the competition on 21st July, as the high court has once again opened up the ephedrine case. It appears to be the last nail that will be put in the PMLN coffin this year.
Political rivals have accused the military of backing the opposition party of former cricket star Imran Khan in a bid to create a civilian government that it can control; a civil government that would be a lot easier to dictate. Khan has repeatedly rejected the claims, as has the military.
The whole dilemma gives a flashback from 1959 when Ayub Khan drilled holes through the then existing political order. Politicians who were especially then targeted and charged under security laws and martial law regulations were from the National Awami Party and the East Pakistan Awami League, since both these parties were opposed to One Unit.
In August 1959, Ayub Khan passed the Elected Bodies Disqualification Order (EBDO). Under this, 75 leaders were disqualified for participating in political activities for 8 years (until December 1966). Under the EBDO, Ayub Khan primarily targeted East Pakistani politicians from the Awami League while leaving the Muslim League largely untouched. Prominent politicians were disqualified under these three articles of EBDO were the top leaders of the East Pakistan Awami League including Sheikh Mujib ur Rehman and Hussain Shaheed Suhrawardy, whereas Maulana Bhashani was arrested and put behind the bars.
Today, the history seems to be repeating itself once again. Yet again similar tactics are being put to use to fail democracy to support a single party and form a superficial democratic government. The establishment is going long lengths to abolish the PMLN and PPP raj from this country and allow their obedient Khan on the seat of the Prime Minister. The involvement of establishment in the past had resulted in the division of Pakistan and Bangladesh. Today, it is feared that it might lead to a civil war, dicing people on ethnic and political lines. The involvement will create bitterness in the hearts of the people and it may put the country in serious disorder. The outside enemies of Pakistan are in full swing and planning to hit Pakistan at the weakest joint and the political situation that is boiling with every passing day can make the job easier for our foes.
We definitely understand that Politicians, Judiciary, democrats and military – every institution has a stake in the state and everyone wants to work in the betterment of our country. But excess of everything is dangerous. The institutions must work in harmony to bring out prosperity in our country instead of fighting for power and dominance, to cater their own vested interests.