Inquiry for the public

Daniyal Arif


Political hierarchy has never assumed the role of serving the public. Instead, government service is used as a safest bid by many to exploit the inherent deficiencies of the system to enhance their commercial and power clout. Hence, with the absence of the real intention on which democracy bases its self, the democracy has failed to deliver in the so called land of pure where hardly any eatable is ever found pure; ironically, land of pure is a place where donkey meat is being deceptively sold as beef and mutton and state fails to hold them accountable.

Historically, elections in Pakistan have hardly ever been transparent. The foundation of a five year government term stands on the grounds of an election and an absence of transparent election raises serious questions on the legitimacy of a state’s democratic structure. When hardly any heed is paid towards the foundation, it is pretty much evident that system is being wrongly utilized for whom the system in itself should not be held accountable. Instead, the utilizers of the system need to be exposed since the same system has been working smoothly in other regions of the world.

The political and other players of power in this country have brought eyewash reforms to make electoral system of this country more transparent but all the reforms efforts have proved fruitless. Such failure on the part of legislatures can be attributed to loopholes in the legislation, shrewdness on the part of electoral players to exploit the legal loopholes, or inherent unaccountability of the system that fails to differentiate right from wrong, truth from false and culprit from the innocent.

Our media has failed to highlight one essential aspect of the latest electoral conundrum held in 2013. Formation of judicial commission or an outright judicial inquiry needs to probe a suspected electoral fraud and should not be left to wrangling of two rival political parties. When the sanctity of an election’s transparency is questioned, government fails to uphold democratic right of the people to discover whether their electoral mandate has been altered or not. The matter of terms of reference to prove some allegations is a matter amongst the two parties. What mechanism does the public has to verify whether the elections held were fair, free and transparent?

Terms of reference argument is mere deception to the public and the democratic governance infrastructure of the country. Matter of proving allegations should remain between the two rival political parties but public has every right to ensure whether they are governed by representatives to whom they voted for. If a government fails to account whether the elections held were as per the constitutional requirements through an independent state owned judicial inquiry, the government fails to uphold the basic fundamental democratic right of the public.

It needs to be stressed that whether or not electoral rigging is proved, government is accountable to public at large and not only to a single political party. The way the electoral saga has evolved, an inquiry is a fundamental right and need of the public to ascertain whether their basic right to vote was forsaken or not. Governance system in Pakistan fails to deliver to the general public and rights of general public have never been highlighted. Government that, essentially, is meant to deliver to the public cannot deliver until and unless public fails to be center of gravity of macro and micro state policies.