Dr Farrukh Saleem, in his article ‘Election’ (The News, Jul 29), analysed as to why we are suffering the Zardaris, the Gilanis, the Sharifs, the Chuadhrys, the Walis and their likes, and why our generations would suffer the Bilawals, the junior Gilanis, the Hamzas, the Elahis etc whose sole qualification is being the sons or relatives of the current lot ruling the country. Coming to the answer of the question – how would Election 2012 be any different from Election 1937? – raised by Dr Farrukh, I’d say that the Election 2012 can be different if we ensure two changes. Firstly, we must change our electoral system to ensure true representation of the people. The two options which come to my mind are proportional representation and run-off elections.
Ideally, the changes in the electoral system should be made by parliament. But since this issue is related to the people, and not the perks and privileges or immunities of our parliamentarians, it would rather hurt the interest of the sitting parliamentarians, a number of whom have fake degrees, to do something about it. Therefore, the Election Commission of Pakistan should try to change the rules of business. Secondly, extra care should be observed in the appointment of district returning officers, returning officers and assistant returning officers. If these two prerequisites are ensured, I am confident that we will get rid of the corrupt, incompetent and inefficient dynastic politicians.
Dr Farrukh Saleem concludes his well-researched piece about elections with what he calls “the mother of all questions”: how would Election 2012 be any different from Election 1937? Here is the mother of all answers: through fair and credible elections. But the catch is free and fair elections are possible only in a society which is civilised, which firmly believes in a peaceful transfer of power and which places a high premium on rule of law and tolerance of alternative opinion. Fair elections are not possible in an animal farm where some are more equal than others.
B A Malik