Election is over. The losing parties have labelled the election as rigged by their favourite villains called the ‘khalai makhlooq’ and have banded together to protest. The international election observers’ missions, including those from the European Union and the Commonwealth, concluded in their report that the election wasn’t rigged and that the Pakistan Army troops did not influence the voting process. However, they did express some concerns over the overall environment in which the election process was held, especially the high- profile corruption cases, resulting in disqualifying Nawaz Sharif and later ousting him from the office of the prime minister.
One of the concerns expressed in the report by the EU’s election observers’ mission chief, Michael Gahler, is about the restrictions on freedom of expression and unequal opportunity to campaign. But then he proves that he doesn’t want those rights to be exercised by all by showing concern for “the emergence of extremist parties with affiliations either to terrorist groups, or individuals linked to organisations that have used, incited or advocated violence.”
What nobody explains is that why would there be any need to deny other parties the level playing field if the answer to bringing the PTI in power was to rig the election or vice versa. The two situations are mutually exclusive. If I am the ‘khalai makhlooq’ and I am determined to keep Nawaz out of power and ensure victory for the PTI, I wouldn’t do both. If the losing brigade’s allegations were true that means I as a ‘khalai makhlooq’ would have to go to such horrible lengths as to create income inequality around the world by asking rich corporations to greedily pursue profits, which would indoctrinate — of all the people in the world, one John Doe, the whistleblower of the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca — to an extent where he would contact a reporter named Bastian Obermayer working for the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and transfer him 11.5 million documents from the records of Mossack Fonseca.
Then as a ‘khalai makhlooq’ I would create ripple effects from these revelations and ensure the resignation of Iceland’s prime minister, Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson, among others, only to make the entire leaks and their ripple effects look legitimate and not targeted. But I wouldn’t even be halfway into the job. I would also have to hire or convince the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and many reporting partners around the world to start publishing stories highlighting corruption.
After I do all that, I would wipe my forehead with a soft drink bottle just like Imran Khan did in a popular ad, and move on to the next mission of ensuring Nawaz Sharif’s trial. Then ensuring Chief Justice Saqib Nisar creates a JIT, which would prompt PML-N stalwarts and workers to distribute sweets. The JIT would go in the past using a time machine and remove the existence and usage of the Calibri font from the past so that Maryam Nawaz and her father could appear to be lying to the court. After the JIT has done its magic, I would ensure the verdict is that of disqualifying Nawaz and later removing him from the office of the prime minister. Now that I have paved the way for the PTI to win and denied a level playing field to others by doing this meticulous work of art, resulting in putting Nawaz in Adiala, I am going to need another fizzy drink as the mission is not over yet.
Now I have to rig the election. Yes, you heard me. That is what it had been about all this time. More than ‘khalai makhlooq’ I seem to be very much like Mr Bean. He also puts in more than the required energy, wastes time, looks funny, yet by the end of the day, he somehow gets it done regardless of how clumsy the end result looked like.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 9th, 2018.