Elahi fears post-poll scenario in Pakistan

Lahore: Member of the National Assembly of Pakistan Chaudhry Pervez Elahi is concerned about the post-election scenario in the country. Pakistan goes to polls on July 25.

Elahi fears that the “present, pronounced divisiveness in the nation’s political life could potentially push Pakistan into a long period of confusion, chaos and anarchy after July 25”.

“The environment in which the July poll is being organized is totally vitiated by political acrimony and bitterness. People are sharply divided across political lines and polarization has peaked (in the lead-up to the election). No one is ready to tolerate others. The net result of this election will be chaos and anarchy. That is not a good sign for democracy or for the country and its people,” Elahi told the Dawn in an interview.

According to the Dawn, Elahi believes that the elections are meant to unite people, not divide them. It would have been wiser to delay the vote for a month or two to defuse the situation and implement (political and economic) reforms.

He said, “Gen Yahya Khan lost half of the country in 1970 because he had insisted on holding the election on time. The election commission, judiciary and establishment will all be to blame if the country finds itself in the midst of political and economic chaos and anarchy post-election.”

Later, the 72-year-old politician from Gujrat however said, “The time to postpone the election is already past. Now politicians should brace themselves for whatever results the election is going to throw up and make their decisions to tackle the new situation accordingly. We cannot suggest solutions based on assumptions about the future, but parties should now be ready to set aside their differences and sit together for the well-being of the country and people once the election is over.”

He advised the army not to involve itself in the election process as is evidently being demanded by some of the parties. He advised the same to the judiciary.

He predicted that no single party will be in a position to muster enough seats to form a government. “No party will get an absolute majority. It will be a split mandate and the single largest party will depend on others to form a coalition. I don’t see any good coming out of the next election,” he said.

For July elections, “We have issued party tickets on most national and provincial assembly seats across the country – Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan and Sindh. In Sindh, we are part of the opposition alliance, the GDA, and in Punjab, we have made seat adjustments with the PTI. We are in contact with every party except the PML-N. I expect the PML-Q to show a better performance on July 25, if a fair and free election is held and no party is preferred over the others”, he added.