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August 20, 2011

Interim polls may not bring desired results

Top Story

August 20, 2011

LAHORE
In case the incumbent government is brought down, the formation of a transparent caretaker government agreed upon by all parties concerned is not likely as, under the Constitution, it needs the consent of the President, an option the opposition parties might not go for.
The only way for mid-term polls to achieve the desired goal , is constitutional amendment(s) enabling the judiciary to put in place a transparent caretaker government, which would form an independent election commission that, ultimately, would hold free and fair polls, paving the way for a new government to come to power.
The observations were made by speakers at the Jang Forum held in relevance with the PML-N s demand for interim polls. The guests at the forum were Jamiat Ulema Islam, Pakistan, information secretary Maulana Amjad Khan, Jamaat Islami (JI) deputy secretary general Dr Fareed Paracha, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) central leader Aijaz Chaudhry and PML-N MNA Bilal Yasen. The forum was hosted by eminent journalist Iftikhar Ahmed.
Opening the discussion, Bilal Yasen said that the decisions taken by the PML-N in the past had proved right with passage of time, citing the Charter of Democracy, joining the federal government and then abandoning it after realizing the mindset of the PP as examples of the decisions. He said that the PML-N, with its recent demand for interim poles, had given an open invitation to all political parties and people of Pakistan to consider the option as the current state of security and economic affairs in the country seemed beyond the control of the current government. He said that the federal government had refused to restrain itself from their self-righteous moves which had translated into blunders. He said that the PML-N had been a staunch advocate of the sustenance political and democratic process which was misunderstood, and the party was blamed for being a friendly opposition.
He said that a unanimously accepted Election

Commission should be established under the supervision of an unbiased caretaker government put in place by the independent judiciary. This, he said, was the only arrangement under which the country could be put back on the path of progress and prosperity.
Dr Fareed Paracha said that the demand for interim elections was in conformity with the constitution of Pakistan. He said that the state of affairs in Karachi and the government s inability to stem the bloodshed had taken away the PPP-lead coalition s right to govern. He also called for formation of an independent Election Commission which, he said, was of pivotal importance in this regard. Otherwise, he warned, the national elections would be a replay of the mass rigging of the Azad Kashmir Elections.
Terming the judiciary the only transparent and controlling force, he said the caretaker government should be put in place by the judiciary, not by President Asif Ali Zardari. He, however, said that the government should be allowed to complete its tenure, otherwise, the PPP would have another excuse for its bad performance.
Aijaz Chaudhry rejected the JI stance that the PPP should be allowed to complete its tenure. He also expressed surprise over PML-N s sudden change of stance through the recent demand for interim polls.
Maulana Amjad Khan said that Nawaz Sharif had a right to opinion but the JUI believed that the government should complete its term so that people could be clear in making decisions when they come out to vote. He was of the view if the assemblies were dissolved right now, it would end up in making PPP Political Shaheed yet again and would confuse the voters, making it difficult to reap the desired results.

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