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Caretaker Regime

150 HRS TO A NEW DAWN?

Though the usual feudal modus operandi for obtaining votes, particularly in the rural areas, is through outright coercion and/or intimidation, it also depends upon who counts the vote, and even more importantly, who gets to collate it. With rigging/tampering with ballot and ballot boxes fairly widespread in 2008 and 2013, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) must be given credit for taking effective steps for minimizing electoral fraud of various kinds.

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THE CARETAKER REGIME

Headed by former Chief Justice Nasirul Mulk, the Caretaker Regime taking office today includes in its mission statement (1) running the affairs of the govt according to the Constitution and (2) administrative and operational back-up to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for conducting of free and fair Parliamentary elections on July 25, 2018, or whenever they are held. One is hoping that the Caretaker Regime must not only be neutral and impartial manner but be seen to be so.

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POLITICAL PARTIES AND ANARCHY

Historically progressive, Pakistan’s bourgeoisie has compromised with imperialism and feudal/tribal elements, with almost all political parties in Pakistan run like feudal estates. The basic ingredient of any functioning democracy, the present form of elections has reduced Parliament to a mere ritual-like exercise with those elected considering power a free licence to loot, plunder and oppress the people for the next five years. To quote my article of May 5, 1995 titled ‘Direct Vote and Democracy’, “other than bad advice our political leadership depends upon “special interest groups” (and individuals) for survival once they are in office rather than on the electorate that voted them into office.”

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