A QUICK end to the Imran Khan-contempt of court issue was in everyone’s interest and, thankfully, that’s exactly what happened in the Supreme Court on Wednesday. Lessons, if either side is willing, are there to be learned. For the court, this was an utterly unnecessary and thoroughly inadvisable foray into the political arena. That the court itself seemed to consider a single word — the now much parsed sharamnaak — to be the bedrock of potential contempt of court charges was a widening of the principle of contempt at the same time as the judicial world at large is narrowing it to very specific cases of disrupting courtroom proceedings or refusing to obey a court order. The majesty of the court comes not from its ability to suppress public dissent, but from the quality of its judgements. Dragging national political leaders before the superior judiciary to potentially face charges that are controversial and divisive is not really in the best interests of the judiciary, and the country at large.

For Imran Khan and the PTI, perhaps the time has come to accept the electorate’s judgement rather than endlessly harping on perceived biases in the electoral process. Even the recently held by-elections saw the PTI leadership getting embroiled in allegations against other parties of vote rigging and ballot stuffing. To be sure, the electoral process in Pakistan is more credible and acceptable than truly free and fair. But the PTI’s complaints increasingly seem to come down to this: ‘if we win, the electorate’s will has been realised; if we lose, decisive foul play must be involved.’ This does not behoove a party which now has a proven national vote bank and can legitimately look towards future elections with hope. More governance, less politics, please.


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Comments (6) (Closed)


Amir Cheema
Aug 30, 2013 10:59am

Let there be justice without further delay. Recounting of votes with thumb print verification in four constituencies demanded by PTI is a test for Election Commission of Pakistan to restore its credibility as an impartial entity. After recounting this way if the results go against ruling party then Nawaz Sharif should expel candidates implicated in rigging. If results remain unchanged then Imran Khan must accept the election results wholeheartedly. If other parties have similar demands then similar process can be adopted for a limited number of other constituencies as well. The results of the election are controversial in a limited number of constituencies and these can be looked at on a case by case basis. Let us rise above our ego and show to the world that Pakistani nation believes in fairness and justice.

Wajid
Aug 30, 2013 12:58pm

Seriously:?? "To be sure, the electoral process in Pakistan is more credible and acceptable than truly free and fair"

How about those thousands of videos and evidences.? Is demanding fingerprint verification a very big demand ?

NASAH (USA)
Aug 30, 2013 05:50pm

Much ado abut nothing -- like the Letter-gate. I am glad Imran Khan was not asked to go home -- guess you have to be a prime minister to go home.

Ikram
Aug 30, 2013 08:21pm

---> "But the PTI’s complaints increasingly seem to come down to this: ‘if we win, the electorate’s will has been realised; if we lose, decisive foul play must be involved.’ "

Perhaps you fail to realize what imran has been harping. If the electoral process is not overhauled or modernized, 5 years from now you will have the same massive rigging, massive thappy and ballot box stuffing and mandate of the people will be stolen again in the name of sham democracy,

Tariq K Sami
Aug 31, 2013 03:10am

No kidding! It is amazing that the editorial of a leading newspaper should seek expediency instead of Justice. Imran is absolutely right. The corrupt Returning Officers must be exposed. "Sab Chalta hai" will not do.

NASAH (USA)
Aug 31, 2013 06:27pm

@Ikram: For the PTI's spoiled kids brought up on the riches of outlandish jalsa promises -- NOT on nitty gritty performance -- massive defeat = massive rigging.

Rigging - a new mantra for the incompetent PTI.