On 30 May, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government led by Pakistan Tehreek Insaf let people poll for electing their locally elected bodies. As civilized nations who are on the peak of development have always divided powers and have let it go down to the gross root level.
Always filled his speeches with western ideas, democracy, justice, equal rights, Imran Khan this time announced that his led government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa failed to deliver and do elect local bodies without any failure. Where mismanagement and interference by the government leading party messed everything across the province.
In Dir, Sawabi and some more districts were reported where women were barred from vote casting. Some 12 people killed in different clashes among the political parties, one of the Pakistan Tehreek Insaf minister Ali Amin Gandapur has been arrested by law enforcement agencies in a blame to be connected to the massive irregularities in the election where thousands of men, women, youth, peasants were to be elected.
Gul Pari, 50, cost her vote in Hayat Abad Peshawar. “There was a rush, I only stamped the first two candidates, rest five I couldn’t find their symbols in the rush and left the polling station”.
This time again the conservatives and secular a like wanted to compromise on women vote and stop them coming out to poll their vote, told Shad Begum, a women right activist in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
“I visited and observed the female voters and their vote cast in Dir (the KP district)”, says Shad Begum.
Early in the morning till the closure of the polling stations I didn’t see the much enthusiastic voters, nor there were lines as earlier in General Elections, probably people were not motivated and made aware about the importance of the local elections.
While came to Peshawar University and heard Sana Shah a female Presiding Officer (in Kohat, one of KP district); and understood the mismanaged process of local bodies election as explained by her as “the worse experience” of her life she had ever faced in electioneering.
She told she was threatened that she’d got money and one of her colleague in the side polling station even got beats from different male contestant. When we come to our own “interest” we throw culture behind us. No codes remain; even not the teaching we preach all the time from stages.
The same polls were peaceful when Musharaf, the then Army dictator turned president of Pakistan, had ordered them (masses); and army was deployed. So (from the same masses) no body bothered to be violent even none made their pitch of sound higher, she told. “Do you know the religious party and rest all were having their supporters and polling agents who would always run and tell me; you have been paid by the (PTI led) government”. What could one do being a women in among hundreds of illiterate women and violently looking polling agents and competing candidates for local bodies election?
What happens when “we are free to vote; then why should we disturb it and violate every possible law”, she questioned. Leave laws, even own culture “beating women polling staff”.
Another reporter Hidayat Khan who was covering the electioneering process in Charsada and Naukhar districts told that one of the candidate son hit a female polling staff member with his feet.
Pakistan Tehreek Insaf leader, a farmer cricketer, Imran Khan had earlier vowed that he’ll use EVM “electronic voting machines” this was the reason he delayed local bodies election. We observed his brain child “LB election plans’ the worst. Seven vote at the same time; but with in sufficient staff made everything a mess.
Male were disturbing female polling stations, every time the male contesting candidate would enter and use harsher language and stop the process, Sanna Ejaz a right activist told. “Government leading party used machinery (polling staff always government officials) to disturb and make election fake”.
It’s not possible for a single illiterate man or women to cost 7 votes in a single time and keep all the “symbols” in mind, she explained. “Symbols were mismanaged for example both Printer and Photostat were symbols I checked them and they were much familiar; how would one stamp his/her candidates symbol?”
After the failure in electioneering locally, PTI chairman Imran Khan accepted that elections were not held purely and mismanagement, irregularities were part of it. But he let Election Commission of Pakistan to decide whether announcing or not a “re-election” in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
On the other hand, soon after the irregularities in election, Awami National Party, chief Asfand Yar Wali Khan raised his finger on the failures of provincial government in local bodies elections and told reporters that his party would launch agitation until unless the current non-competent government overthrow. Because they are unable to deliver to the masses across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Now, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa based opposition parties have launched the same kind of protest. And a question come in mind would the PTI government bear these protestors and agitating parties in the same manner as PMLN did to them in Islamabad? Or they’ll use other undemocratic forces for making hurdles in the way of opposition parties?
When asked a senior analyst Rasheed Afaq, would the opposition use their muscles in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for ousting the current government? As three main parties ANP JUIF and PPP are in the front row.
Afaq views the rigging in local bodies election as intentional, because the PTI chairman want to announce re-election through Election Commission of Pakistan’s decision because of irregularities.
He adds, at the same time, PTI would enforce Election Commission of Pakistan to announce country wide general election because it’s having proof of massive irregularities in the 2013 general election in the country. That led the now Premier Mian Nawaz Sharif and his Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) to win majority seats.