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Editorial | Pervaiz Rashid’s Disqualification Reeks Of Double Standards

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The hybrid administration has chosen to deprive one of the PML-N’s most lively voices from contesting Senate elections. By way of explanation, we are told of a hefty sum of money that Pervaiz Rashid apparently owes to the Punjab House in Islamabad.

If Naya Pakistan were truly all about accountability across the board, it would have been the most fair move in the world to make the former government’s stalwart pay his dues. Unfortunately, under the present government, accountability has become both partisan and weaponized to an unprecedented extent. And that is where one is forced to view the current treatment of Pervaiz Rashid as inevitable – the actual pretext being merely one among a platter of choices available before the state when it wishes to create obstacles for a political figure.

The other side of the coin is the approach of state authorities when it comes to the PTI’s own Faisal Vawda. When those in power wish to make something happen, not even the most glaring infractions are enough to get in the way – and so, the federal minister will duly be contesting Senate elections.

If the mind were to entertain any lingering doubts as to the political motives that tie in with the rejection of Pervaiz Rashid’s nomination papers for the Senate, consider the difficulties he reportedly faces in his attempt to resolve his dues. The relevant government officials, we are told, were unreachable and the opposition politician’s offers to clear his dues fell on deaf ears.

And so it would be within the bounds of reasonable speculation to suggest that Pervaiz Rashid’s political positions over the past years have made him entirely unacceptable to those in the corridors of power. At the very least, the PML-N now has the pretext to claim that he is being punished for an entirely different set of dues which he failed to pay – that is, at the altar of obeisance to those in power.

But if the critics are correct and this is indeed politicized accountability, its ultimate victim will not be a party or individuals. Instead, it is the very concept of accountability that will suffer – in a country where it is desperately needed.

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