Its been a common phenomenon in Pakistan for opposition parties to blame the winning party of “horrible rigging.” This time, the trend has changed a little, and opposition parties are raising hue and cry well before the elections. All the major opposition leaders who are contesting the elections are frantically shooting off statements full of rigging allegations, and they are also writing letters to the courts and to Election Commission about the alleged rigging in the forthcoming polls.
Some opposition parties have also boycotted the elections and one of the reasons of their boycott is that they are absolutely sure of the rigging, while some are contesting the elections just to expose the rigging. For Benazir, if she doesn’t win it simply means that the elections are rigged.
President Musharraf and To-Be Prime Minister Pervaiz Elahi are “shocked” over these “strange” allegations. For weeks, they are ignoring such allegations, and now they are in public gatherings and meetings shrugging off the rigging apprehensions with disgust and using brusque dismissiveness regarding the rigging accusations.
Nation is also very much confused over this. They want to have free and fair elections, so that they can be sure of the fact that their vote carries some weight. But when they see the Nazims and Naib Nazims using local government resources for the campaign of PML-Q, they puke. When nation switches on the cable TV and watch boringly the muzzled private channels, their mouths go tasteless. When nation see newspapers full of news and photos of police beating the lawyers, civil activist outside the houses of Non-PCO judges, they become angry.
Moreover, in the presence of a partisan care-taker government, tilted Election Commission, and the non-participation of some leaders of PML-N in the elections, resounding doubts are bound to ricochet in the country.