After months of tussle between Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) led federal government, both are agreed on the terms of reference for forming a judicial commission to investigate allegations of rigging during the May 2013 general elections.
At last, the terms of reference have been agreed over the proposed commission but many ambiguities are still there. Both the parties yet have to decide the time frame for the formation of the commission and selection of its members. Terming the agreement a positive step towards strengthening democracy and ensuring transparency of elections, Shah Mehmood Qureshi said, “Everybody is a winner, no one is a loser and ultimately democracy would benefit from it.” Ishaq 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. Commenting on the formation of judicial commission, PTI chief Imran Khan said the creation of the commission was a victory for the people and democracy. It is the best opportunity for the PTI to now come back to the Assemblies and become part of parliament to play its role as an active opposition.
Scope of the inquiry of judicial commission would be based on three basic points. Firstly, commission shall inquire in to and determine whether or not may 2013 general elections were organised, conducted impartially, honestly fairly and justly in accordance with law. Secondly, 2013 general elections were manipulated or influenced pursuant to a systematic effort or by design by anyone. Lastly, results of the 2013 general elections on an overall basis are true and fair reflection of mandate given by the public.
Politicians have shown maturity to deal with political matters. Constitution of a Judicial Commission to probe into poll ‘rigging’ allegations is a good omen and lessons could be learnt by finding the flaws so next election could be held in a fair and transparent manner.