Imran Khan should look for the person who advised him to step into this dirty pond to create a new Pakistan. Mr. Khan was perhaps unaware of the presence of over-sized alligators here. He stepped in, holding in his hand the bucket of demands for investigation into systematic rigging of the 2013 elections, and began to drain dirty water out of the pond using this bucket but the alligators were not impressed by his audacity. They attacked him. When he attempted to run away to protect himself, one of the alligators clutched one of his legs in its mouth. Mr. Khan is not weak, for he could have smashed the bucket of his demands at the alligator and saved his leg but alas, he wanted to escape with the bucket intact. I hope that he would get away and tell us who advised him to lead a long march towards Islamabad in August 2014.
When the long march failed to reach its objectives, Mr. Khan had to entangle himself in the demand for a judicial commission, in order to end the protest march. Had the commission been formed to investigate rigging in the 2013 elections, Mr. Khan would truly have been vindicated and Pakistan would have benefited. However, unfortunately Mr. Khan wanted to bring to light plans for systematic rigging whereby Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) ostensibly stole the public mandate through Returning Officers (ROs). As per his demand, the Supreme Court formed a three-member judicial commission, in front of whom no party either presented evidence of systematic rigging in the 2013 elections or revealed the name of the supposed mastermind. Mr. Khan’s lawyer, Abdul Hafeez Pirzada, kept narrating stories pertaining to the incompetence and inconsistencies demonstrated by ROs. However, ROs are District and Session Judges who manage the election process along with Presiding Officers (POs). Mr. Khan was accusing the judiciary of rigging elections while asking the same judiciary to carry out the investigation, without even revealing the name of the supposed mastermind of this conspiracy to rig elections. Alas, the judicial commission’s findings surprised few.
Irrefutable evidence of rigging in the 2013 elections was presented in front of the commission, details of which are mentioned in the commission’s final report. This evidence pertained to all four provinces and sixteen constituencies from FATA. Video footage in which ballot papers were being stamped in bulk was also presented in front of the court. Page 75 (Paragraph 277) of the report states evidence of rigging against PML-N. The same page also mentions evidence of rigging in favor of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf (PTI), the political party that Mr. Khan leads. However, such rigging was considered an irregularity in the report. Mr. Khan has accepted the findings of the report, but remains steadfast with his allegations as per usual.
A few days before the commission released its findings, I told Mr. Khan that Mr. Pirzada will not succeed at proving systematic rigging in front of the judicial commission but he disagreed. For some reason, he was confident that the commission’s decision would be in his favor. However, his estimation turned out to be wrong; in my humble opinion, the 2013 elections were not entirely free and fair, which is proven by the fact that all major political parties, including PML-N and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), joined PTI in the allegations of rigging.
The perpetrators of rigging wanted there to be four different political parties ruling in the four provinces of the country, with a weak coalition government at the center. They succeeded at the former but failed at the latter. The plan was to have neither Nawaz Sharif nor Imran Khan as the Prime Minister but against their wishes and plans, Nawaz Sharif succeeded at becoming Prime Minister. After assuming office, he reached out to Mr. Khan and even decided to let PTI form the government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Yet, on bad advice from a few bad apples, Mr. Khan launched a confrontation with Nawaz Sharif. PML-N committed some mistakes as well and this way, the country lost two precious years to political warfare.
After the release of the judicial commission’s report, Mr. Khan is being made fun of. The same analysts and TV anchors who were keen to send Nawaz Sharif home every day a year ago are now demanding an apology from Mr. Khan. My readers are aware of my opposition to Mr. Khan’s long march and protest movement but I still consider the rigging allegations valid. Rigging was carried out by and against everyone, but due to Mr. Khan’s strategic folly, the perpetrators of such rigging could not be unveiled entirely. I am sure that sooner or later, these perpetrators will be unveiled. They are the same people who convinced Mr. Khan that before his long march reaches Islamabad, Nawaz Sharif would have tendered his resignation. Chief Minister of Punjab, Shahbaz Sharif, has demanded that a parliamentary commission be created to investigate the alleged conspiracy behind Mr. Khan’s long march. Even Shahbaz Sharif knows that while Mr. Khan’s long march began in August 2014, the conspiracy against this Nawaz Sharif government began in August 2013. On August 1, 2013, the title of my column was “The Conspiracy Has Begun”. Nawaz Sharif’s main fault is that he chose Raheel Sharif to be the Chief of Army Staff. Conspiratorial elements wanted to have someone else as the Army Chief, and Shahbaz Sharif knows who that person is. A few days ago, Defence Minister Khwaja Muhammad Asif claimed that the former head of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), General Rtd. Zaheer-ul-Islam conspired against the government out of personal vendetta because the government did not take action against Geo TV as per his wishes. Mr. Asif must be reminded that when Gen. Islam was the active head of ISI, Mr. Asif claimed, on a TV program, to have evidence of Geo TV’s treason against the state. He never brought that evidence to the forefront, but he should at least come forward with evidence to back his allegations against Gen. Islam. Mr. Asif knows well what the real deal was.
Geo TV’s troubles began on April 19, 2014, but already back in November 2013, in my show Capital Talk, I predicted that there would be a long march in 2014 in which a resignation would be demanded from Nawaz Sharif, but the real purpose would be to save Former President Pervez Musharraf from treason charges. So far, the plan seems to have succeeded. Imran Khan has lost and Pervez Musharraf has won. The judicial commission’s report is nobody’s victory or loss. The conspiracy is not over yet. Conspiratorial elements are sitting in Dubai these days. They are not afraid of accountability or being caught. In the name of patriotism, they want to eliminate Nawaz Sharif, Asif Ali Zardari, and Imran Khan from Pakistani politics. The trailer of this movie is going to get many views.