‘Establishment Doesn’t Want A 1970-Like Surprise’

Sheikh Mujib Jalsa

Imran Khan is supposedly the most popular leader of Pakistan right now and it would make sense to us as journalists and citizens of Pakistan to test this hypothesis in a nationwide election. But the people who want him behind the bars and out of the election are concerned about the likelihood of PTI winning the election and they don’t want a 1970-like surprise again, said Raza Rumi on Thursday while talking on Naya Daur TV’s flagship show ‘Khabar Say Aagay (Beyond the Headlines)’.

Discussing the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) report expressing doubts regarding the availability of a ‘level-playing field’ to all the political parties in the upcoming general elections, Raza Rumi said that the establishment would prefer Imran Khan to be in jail at the time of the elections. They’re also concerned about PMLN’s prospects in the elections since according to a secret survey, the party’s position in its traditional stronghold Punjab is weaker than ever, he added.

Maheen Paracha, representing the HRCP on Beyond the Headlines, said that the press freedoms were being trampled on in Pakistan it seemed improbably to hold a free and fair election under these circumstances.

Election expert Fauzia Yazdani, commenting on the petition filed by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in Lahore High Court challenging the decision to appoint ‘bureaucrats’ as Returning Officers for the election, said that the petition was most likely going to be quashed because judicial officers and government servants are the only available human resource to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for conducting the elections.

She added that the petition could be seen as a part of the disinformation campaign run by a political party to discredit the elections.

Program’s co-host Mubasher Bukhari agreed with Maheen Paracha on the issue of transparency of the elections. “There are serious concerns regarding election rigging just like 2018. Some parties are not being allowed to run their election campaign and PTI is the main victim”, he added.

Beyond the Headlines is hosted by Raza Rumi from Monday to Saturday 9 PM on Naya Daur TV.