Stop the blame game (National Herald Tribune (Pakistan))

Addressing CPNE office bearers and galaxy of editors, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif expressed displeasure with a section of electronic media for its role in the dharna politics and said as a human being he is fallible but national security and economic wellbeing should not be put at stake for personal or sectional interests. He added “dharna caused immense loss to the country besides shaking confidence of the investors amid a situation when the government was up against gigantic challenges”.
This is not the time for the blame game, and when he seeks support for the government in implementation of National Action Plan, he should also stop the litany of accusations that dharn caused immense loss to the country. He should rather try to reciprocate the gesture of the PTI that ended dharna so that the government could focus on fighting the war on terror.
He should not expect that PTI would drop its genuine demand of verification of votes in four constituencies including NA122. Pakistan TehreekiInsaf Chairman Imran Khan on Saturday filed another application in the election tribunal for verification of electors’ thumb impressions. This was the second application by Imran Khan, the runnerup candidate from the constituency won by National Assembly Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, since a local commission submitted its inspection report.
The tribunal had ordered the inspection of NA122 record on an application of the PTI chief and appointed a retired Sessions Judge as commission to do the job. The commission, in its report, pointed out several irregularities in the election process. However, he left the matter of alleged rigging to be decided by the tribunal. After crossexamination, Imran Khan filed an application seeking reinspection of record of certain polling stations of the constituency.
On Saturday, the tribunal was to hear final arguments from both sides on the merits of the main petition filed by Imran Khan. However, Advocate Anis Hashmi, the counsel for PTI chief, came up with a new application for verification of electors’ thumb impressions through National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra).
He argued that the inspection held by the commission suggested that there were a lot of discrepancies in the record in terms of ballot papers. He said forensic verification of thumb impressions through Nadra was necessary to know the validity of the unauthorised ballot papers used during polling. The PTI counsel argued that perusal of the record showed that the alleged rigging was preplanned. The stalemate continued as TehrikeInsaf rejected the latest draft from government committee suggesting a new ‘scope of inquiry for the proposed judicial commission on alleged pollrigging.
Imran Khan while talking to the reporters after his return from Saudi Arabia had said: “I want to make it clear to the government that the PTI is giving them time. Don’t be mistaken. We have the street power and we will use it. The day we give the call to shut down the country, you will not be able to continue running the government.”
He added that the PMLN did not want the commission to take up cases, which had already been decided by election tribunals or were pending before them, whereas the PTI wanted the commission to take up all of them. The government should not insist on confining the investigation to Imran Khan’s allegation that it was a planned and organized rigging, as rigging is rigging whether organized and preplanned by the PMLN or by its individual candidates.