The Face of General Elections 2018 - By: Munir M Hasan, PhD

The candidates for the National and Provincial Assemblies have filed their nomination papers along with their affidavits. In these affidavits candidates have declared their assets which are now known to the public through the media which are exposing these assets and discussing these thoroughly. In this connection I have a few things in my mind which I want to share.

Those who are following the developments in the politics regularly, they can easily see that the candidates have not disclosed their total assets. Many times it has been stated even at ministerial levels that Pakistani elite have more than $200 billion assets in the foreign countries. It means that these candidates have declared only a minute part of the total assets and they have not declared many other assets, especially their bank accounts and immovable properties in foreign countries. These foreign properties cannot be verified by the Returning Officers in a limited time given by the Election Commission and so, the candidates have taken the advantage of this situation and have not declared their full assets.
Whatever the values of the local properties have been declared in the affidavit, even an ordinary person knows that these values are nothing but a bunch of lies. One has not to be an intellectual or expert to see this. It means that from the very beginning the candidates have started telling lies. It is so obvious that one does not require any investigation to reach this conclusion. The most serious part of this situation is that these open lies have been declared in the affidavit which amounts to an oath in the holy name of Allah. The question is, can a person lying on oath remain a Muslim, or does he really believe in Allah? In fact, all these candidates need to be declared liars and disqualified under Article 62 of the Constitution of Pakistan because they have not spoken the truth. However, I am sure the Election Commission, NAB and the Courts will not take any notice of it and all the candidates will be declared eligible for contesting elections.
After the elections, all these liars and dishonest people will reach the assemblies and once again the same practices of looting Pakistan will start a fresh, and Pakistan will continue to be eaten up by these dishonest people.

Apart from what has been said above, there are some more considerations. As ever, Pakistani society has been divided into tribal traditions where the votes are cast on the orders of their Sardars (chiefs). Wadera mafia and many other mafias are very strong in Pakistan. This society is also divided on the basis of family ties, sectarian ties linguistic ties and the people are not free to vote. Internal and external forces also have been and are influencing in the elections. These are so strong that that they can even change the results. So, the people donít cast their votes on their own free will. Apart from this, money also plays a definite role in the elections. Forged votes are cast and the Pre- and post-election corrupt practices/ irregularities also have been changing the election results in the past, and are expected to do so in the present elections as well. When the election results are affected by so many undemocratic influences, this system cannot be called democracy. The next assembly will almost be the same as before. Presence of a few honest members will not make any difference.

After the elections the chief executives behave like kings and no authority in Pakistan takes any notice of this situation. All the national and provincial institutions have been politicized and so much corrupted by these kings that there is no chance of any change. Some intellectuals keep telling the people that the things will improve after the 2018 elections but, on the basis of the factors mentioned above, I have no hope of any positive change in Pakistan.

Posted on Jul 01, 18 | 7:16 am