PTI's Press Statement on Convenient Amnesia of the Government
Central Information Secretary PTI, Dr Shireen Mazari, today regretted that despite a detailed exposition by Chairman Imran Khan yesterday on the PTI position on a Judicial Commission to probe the May 2013 electoral rigging and the need for a Joint Investigation Team to assist the Commission, the government is indulging in a dangerous game of misrepresentation and black propaganda. Mazari said the PTI Chairman’s statement of the Party’s position was clear and had been re-stated in an unambiguous manner by Khan in his Azadi Chowk speech yesterday evening. The main points that were clearly repeated by the Chairman yesterday were:
One: That an independent Judicial Commission be formed under the Supreme Court of Pakistan.
Two: That it should complete its probe and make public its findings within a period of 4-6 weeks.
Three: That the said Commission should be assisted in its investigations by a JIT comprising all the relevant Agencies including the MI and ISI.
Four: That the PTI dharna would continue during the period of the probe and the PM’s resignation would also not be demanded during the period of the probe.
Mazari said it was unfortunate that Mr Dar, who had led the negotiations from the government side with PTI has now suddenly suffered a severe memory lapse and forgotten that the first three points had already been agreed to by the government and that PTI had accepted their proposal for naming the Investigative team as a Special Investigation Team (SIT) instead of a JIT. It was also the government that proposed all relevant Agencies including the MI and ISI be made a part of the SIT. It was also the government that accepted a 45-day time limit for the probe’s completion. Ironically, it was the government that also introduced 4 military personnel to sit in on the negotiations.
Now suddenly the government and especially Mr Dar seem to have forgotten their own suggestions and commitments. This revealed that the government was never serious about any negotiated agreement just as it showed its political frivolity when it broke off negotiations just when an agreement was in sight.
Mazari asserted that it was factually incorrect for the government to say there is no provision for an Independent Judicial Commission to probe rigging and to be assisted by a JIT/SIT. Perhaps the government needs to do a serious re-reading of the Constitution especially Article 184:3 read together with Chapter 1, Part II and Article 199 of the Constitution.
Mazari also pointed out that the only new addition to the PTI demands was that PTI would continue its dharna during the period of the probe and, as a goodwill gesture reflecting a serious intent to get the rigging probe moving, would not demand the PM resignation during the period of the probe if conducted under an independent Inquisitorial Judicial Commission.
She regretted the fact that the government was deliberately misguiding the nation regarding the electoral rigging probe because it knew it would stand totally exposed as a government with no public mandate if an independent judicial probe was conducted.
Mazari also said it was unfortunate that perennial PTI-haters had jumped on the government bandwagon on the issue of a rigging probe to distort what Chairman Khan had demanded on behalf of PTI. One certainly did not expect a lawyer of Ms Asma Jehangir’s standing to simply ridicule the idea of seeking justice against electoral rigging by accusing PTI and its Chairman of seeking a role for the military in politics. The PTI position on this issue has always been categorical.
She said it was ironic that some people accepted the role of the military in the conduct of elections and in disaster relief but were hysterical if investigative agencies like the MI and ISI were part of an SIT. It is almost as if they regarded these two national agencies as enemy organizations. These are the same people who can dance with the RSS in India but find the PTI dharna promoting an “indecent culture” simply because women come in large numbers to listen to Sufi music and national taranas. These are the same people who only talk selectively of human rights – because a stamp of approval is needed from Western donors.
Mazari asserted that PTI believes in freedom of expression and tolerance - something that these people lack – but when words are deliberately twisted and positions misrepresented or particularistic agendas and to venomously target Chairman Khan who is presently the only credible political leader in the eyes of the nation, then those indulging in their agendas of hate must be exposed.
Mazari concluded that the PTI’s demand for and independent Judicial Commission to probe rigging in the May 2013 General Elections, assisted by a JIT/SIT comprising all relevant Agencies including MI and ISI, was legitimate and Constitutional. The nation cannot be fooled into thinking otherwise by the government and those with vested interests.