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‘Favourites in polls should advocate level playing field for all’ | The Express Tribune

‘Favourites in polls should advocate level playing field for all’ |


Political observers have said that political figures, especially those who are being dubbed as “favourites” of powers that be, should demand a level playing field for all contestants of the upcoming general elections and win in a fair contest for the credibility of the electoral process.

The observers, speaking during the political talk-show, “Experts,” moderated by anchor Dua Jamil, emphasised that banishing a key political player from the electoral arena would only make the entire democratic exercise controversial, leading to political instability in the country.

“The new political favourite (ladla) first demanded the removal of the rival team’s captain, then dispersal of its players, followed by a demand for a pitch of its liking. However, after all this he realised that it is still difficult to win; therefore, he insisted on snatching the bat from it,” said Naveed Hussain, Chief Editor of while sharing his insights on the current political situation using cricketing jargon.

Read also: PTI moves SC to restore ‘bat’ electoral symbol

“If the favourite political party believes in the power of people and power of vote, then it should call for a level-playing field for all, return the rival team its captain, players, and bat, so that the game can be won on merit,” he said while referring to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), which alleges that it has been denied a fair chance to contest the election.

Hussain referenced reports from the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) and the Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency (PILDAT) which express scepticism about the credibility and transparency of the upcoming elections. “I would say if the results of the 2018 elections were controversial, the 2024 elections have become controversial even before they take place,” he added.

Amir Ilyas Rana, Bureau Chief in Islamabad, echoed Hussain’s sentiments, stating that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had become a party by pursuing an appeal. He expressed hope that PTI would regain its “bat” symbol, relying on the Supreme Court as the ultimate institution of justice.

Read: Political analysts sceptical of PPP manifesto’s feasibility

Ayaz Khan, Group Editor at Daily Express, raised concerns about the influence of the establishment on political matters, noting that engaging with politicians might not be productive if decisions are made elsewhere.

He emphasised the need to address crucial issues at the appropriate forums, suggesting that leaders should focus on resolving matters in the right context.

Khan also expressed scepticism about the ECP’s actions, stating that its involvement in a review appeal implies external direction. He questioned the fairness of the process and pondered the potential influence on the upcoming Supreme Court judgment.

Reflecting on the evolving role of the judiciary, he mentioned the significance of the bench’s composition and remarked on the Chief Justice’s statement about not watching the media during hearings.

He raised questions about imposing personal preferences on the public and apologised for his previous remarks to avoid any contempt of court issues.

Turning to the electoral symbol’s importance, Khan stressed its significance in influencing voters. He expressed confidence that the PTI would reclaim its symbol through the Supreme Court, emphasising the court’s role as the highest institution of justice.

In his perspective, Faisal Husain, Bureau Chief in Karachi, stressed the importance of understanding the motives behind withdrawing the “bat” symbol.

He highlighted escalating tensions between the former PTI chief, Imran Khan, and the establishment, questioning why political parties were not capitalising on the ongoing power struggles in social media and traditional media.

Mohammad Ilyas, Bureau Chief in Lahore, foresaw challenges for PTI’s election campaign without the “bat” symbol and Imran Khan. He predicted that PTI, unwilling to leave an empty field, would struggle to contest the election vigorously and secure the targeted seats.

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