After months of tussle between Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) led federal government, both parties have signed agreement for the formation of judicial commission to probe alleged rigging and irregularities in the general election of 2013. Finance Minister Ishaq Dar while addressing a press conference along with PTI leader Shah Mehmod Qureshi appreciated the role of political jirga and leaders of other political parties for their support.
Both the parties showed some flexibility to finalize the agreement. Dar said that they had all agreed, in-principle, to form the commission last December, but the only sticking point was the wording of the agreement, which has now been solved. He said all the parliamentary parties were taken into confidence in connection with issuance of the ordinance. He said that the actual draft had already been reached on March 20, while the other small details of the draft were sorted out latter.
As per the signed agreement, the judicial commission will investigate the matter within 45 days of its making. The judicial commission will comprise of 3 Supreme Court of Pakistan judges while the members will be content with Supreme Court’s Chief Justice leading the commission.
Findings of the commission’s investigation into the alleged rigging of 2013 polls would help introduce reforms in the electoral process. This would increase people’s trust in the elections. The political parties of the country have agreed to make the system transparent for holding of free and fair elections would be put in place. Indeed agreement is a positive step towards strengthening democracy and ensuring transparency of elections. Now commission has to find out either the systematic rigging took place or it was just mismanagement on the individual level in 2013 general election.
PTI chairman Imran Khan termed agreement a victory of PTI but if judicial commission would end up strengthening the electoral reforms it would be win-win result for all.