Here is why PTI was ‘undemocratic and unconstitutional’ but ANP and JUI-F are not

PTI’s protest against the government was absolutely unconstitutional and undemocratic, treacherous even.

Zafar Zulqurnain Sahi June 11, 2015
Who were they?
- Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).

What were they doing?
- Protesting on roads.

For what?
-Against rigging – oh wait, “alleged” rigging – in the general elections 2013.

What were their demands?
-Resignation of the prime minister, an impartial probe into rigging allegations and, in case rigging is proven, dissolution of the assemblies and re-election.

Were they opposed? By whom?
-Yes, by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) of course, and almost all other political parties including Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Jamiat-e-Ulema Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) and Awami National Party (ANP).

Why were they opposed by PPP, JUI-F and ANP?
-These parties believed and opined that it is undemocratic and unconstitutional to protest against a sitting government, demand resignation of an elected prime minister and question legitimacy of an election, by way of a protest or sit in on the streets.

Fast forward a few months…

Who are they?
- ANP and JUI-F.

What are they doing?
- Protesting on roads.

For what?
- Against “alleged” rigging in the Khyber-Pakhtunkwa (K-P) local government elections.

What are their demands?
- Resignation of the K-P government, dissolution of the K-P assembly and consequent re-elections to the K-P provincial assembly.

Are they being opposed? By whom?
-Not really, not by any party but PTI.

Is it now constitutional and democratic to protest against a government/legislative assembly on the streets and demand its dissolution?
- Apparently yes.


Let me explain.

You see PTI’s protest against the government was absolutely unconstitutional and undemocratic, treacherous even, because they wanted their allegations to be probed and demanded re-elections only if those allegations were proven in a competent and appropriate forum.

What makes ANP and JUI-F’s movement completely constitutional, and yet another “struggle for democracy”, is that they are not asking for any probe. They don’t want their allegations to be put to any test before any judicial, or even a political forum. They simply want their word to be taken as true, and their demand as the desire of K-P’s people.

Furthermore, PTI’s demands did not make any sense. These immature and novice politicians alleged that the sitting government grabbed power by way of a rigged election and thus does not actually have the mandate to govern. Do you see how absolutely farcical that is?

ANP and JUI-F, on the other hand, make complete sense. They assert that the local governments have been elected by way of a rigged election and thus the provincial assembly should be dissolved. It makes so much more sense.

Then there is the matter of numbers. PTI evidently had more people supporting their protest in Islamabad. ANP and JUI-F only managed to bring out a few. And numbers are obviously inversely proportional to democracy.

If you still find this absurd, it is merely because you have no understanding of the terms “democracy” and “constitution”. You lack erudition and aren’t intellectually equipped to grasp what these concepts actually entail.

If you think democracy means the will of a majority, you are stuck in ancient times when democracy meant just that.

In modern times, democracy has a new meaning given to it by political parties who are licensed to understand the concept and use it as a slogan and bait, namely PPP, PML-N, ANP and JUI-F. Owing to their exemplary “struggle for democracy”, democracy in turn obliged them with the opportunity to reinvent it. Democracy now means “will of the people who support you”.

So it does not matter if ANP and JUI-F have lesser numbers out to support them, as long as all of their supporters support them, no action of theirs can be termed undemocratic.

This very principle applies to all these “licensed” political parties, and even PTI seems keen on adopting it.

Regardless of the fact that PPP now stands reduced to only a few cities, everything their chairman does is more democratic than what you and I do.

JUI-F has always been a small party, never can it even imagine being a representative of 50 per cent of the population or voters, yet everything their leader does and says is for the sake of democracy and in line with the constitution.

PML-N members, who were the loudest opponents of PTI’s sit-in, are now quiet. This silence is entirely democratic and has nothing to do with their rivalry with PTI. Since all those who support PML-N approve of the stance taken by JUI-F and ANP, PML-N very democratically chooses to support it. So before you question these noble champions of democracy and their intentions, learn what democracy means.

To educate my readers further, let me give you the new and improved definitions of certain other political terminologies.

Free and fair elections: For each party, an election whereby the expected or better results are achieved.

Freedom of speech: Our freedom to say anything at all, excluding the same freedom of another.

‘Lotacracy’: The act, by a member of your political party, of leaving to join another. This does not include member of another party joining yours.

Corruption: Misdeeds of an opponent who is not yet an ally.

Merit: A self-tailored, regularly changing criteria for appointments/recruitments.

Nepotism: Cronyism and the practice of appointing relatives and friends to key posts, by any other political party. Cronyism in your own political party is “merit”.
Zafar Zulqurnain Sahi A Lawyer by profession. A Gold Medalist in LLB from Punjab University and has a LLM degree from University of Warwick, UK. He is also a former Member Provincial Assembly of Punjab (2008-2013). He tweets @ZafarSahi (
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.

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MN | 5 years ago | Reply | Recommend Your assertion is flawed. One, the LB elections in KPK were held under the PTI's KPK government machinery - unlike the General Elections of 2013 which were not conducted by PML-N, but a caretaker set-up. Two, the rigging allegations started off right from the elections day, it seemed spontaneous - unlike the GE 2013, where PTI waited for a good one year to cast doubts on the GE, they even took oath in the assemblies. Three, the coalition partners of PTI are also siding with the opposition parties alleging massive rigging in the LB elections. Four, the immediate offer of IK to hold reelection is in a way perceived as admission of mismanagement on his part.
Ahmed | 5 years ago | Reply | Recommend Yet another attempt by PTI folks to twist facts! PPP and ANP never said that protests by PTI were unconstitutional, quite the contrary. While PTI leaders were dancing on DJ Butt it was Aitzaz Ahsan who delivered a shut up call to Chaudhry Nisar in Parliament. It were PPP leaders who were telling PMLN off and avoid a confrontation. Kaira personally intervened on the routes of long march to get a number of PTI workers through. PTI supporters should do something about the province they have been given to govern, with already 50 percent funds poised to lapse they have handed over PMLN another feather in the cap to claim i.e. reduced budget deficit. PTI has effectively become an amalgamation of all the wrongs PPP and PMLN represent. While it has no where close to reaching PPP's dismal performance in Sindh, just like PPP it thinks that sloganeering and jiyalapan can save it, rather than working for people. Likewise, while it has not reached PMLN level of centralisation and ad-hoc-ism it clearly thinks that running KPK by advisors is better than helping the system stand on its feet. Love for the right wing is of course a separate shared bond.
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