RAWALPINDI (DNA) -The Pakistan Ex-servicemen Association (PESA) on Monday said Government must opt for fresh elections after Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) admitted irregularities during the elections.
PESA members said that a document titled, ‘Post-Election Review Report – General Elections 2013, has appeared on the website of ECP. Without any doubt, it is a genuine report because all the officers of ECP except CEC contributed in preparation of the 176-page authentic report which was completed in Dec 2013 but due to unknown reasons, it was not released in time.
This legitimate report highlights some very serious flaws that put the entire election process in doubt. The report clearly states that NAB, SBP, FBR and NADRA did not perform verification effectively. In the absence of the required information, scrutiny of candidates under Articles 62 and 63 was carried out according to personal views of the Returning Officers.
The report denies that there was shortage of magnetic ink. Polling staff used ordinary ink pads on their own. The report has also pointed out many other irregularities that put the entire election process in doubt.
Members applauded the courage and perseverance of throngs of men, women and children who are bracing with all the discomforts and sitting in at D Ckowk in the hope of change for the better.
They are not alone in their struggle. One of the biggest gatherings at Karachi last week gave tremendous boost to their cause. A large gathering at Lahore will clearly show mood of the nation and how things are changing.
PESA was strongly of the view that status quo cannot continue any longer. The government must go for fresh elections under Article 58 (1) of the Constitution. That will be a more democratic way for the ruling party to re-assert its authority and prove popularity among the people to continue its rule.
It is being alleged that quite a number of government leaders are continuing to run and look after their private businesses also. Some are doing in the name of their spouses. Such activity must stop and strict laws be enacted to prevent conflict of interests with a view to ensuring unbiased governance
It said that losses during the floods have exposed tall claims and mismanagement by various government departments that failed to protect life and property of masses. A judicial inquiry is needed to ascertain facts and penalise the responsible.
Members expressed deep anguish and sorrow at great loss of life and property due to floods hoping that the government will live up to its promises to assist in resettlement of the affected people.
They also expressed deep condemnation at the all-round failures of various government departments in giving timely correct warnings and proper management of flood waters to minimize damage. Relief efforts also appear to be in total disorder.
The former military officers noted that Red Crescent should have been in the forefront of relief work but has not been seen anywhere while the biggest culprit is the department responsible for maintenance of flood protection bunds.
These bunds were supposed to withstand Super High floods but gave way with the first wave of not even high floods. Lack of due importance to maintenance of these bunds is apparent when warning was given about flooding of Jhang city due to weak bund.
Members strongly urged for holding of a judicial inquiry so that the guilty are dealt with properly. PESA has formed a committee of experts to carry out what went wrong in management of the floods and will suggest measures to reduce damage from such natural disasters in the future.