Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif made a valiant attempt to steal a march on his increasingly bellicose rivals Imran Khan and Tahirul Qadri on Tuesday, offering to set up a three-member judicial commission to investigate election rigging claims.
Addressing the nation on the penultimate day before Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehreek’s (PAT) march on the capital, PM Nawaz raised the possibility of reaching a compromise with the PTI.
“We request chief justice of the Supreme Court to form a three-member judicial commission to probe allegations of rigging and present their findings after a through probe,” said the prime minister at the end of his 25-minute speech.
“Nothing more can be done with sincerity in this regard,” he added, requesting the nation to decide whether there was any justification left to march on Islamabad against the government on August 14.
Recalling the May 2013 election, the premier said several measures had been taken by the authorities in the interest of transparency and fairness.
Voters lists bore photographs of voters and computerised national identity card was made compulsory for casting of ballots. “It was on the demand of those who are alleging rigging that the judiciary appointed judges as returning officers,” he added.
“No international or local body [that observed the elections] said that these elections were rigged or that the losers were the real winners,” he added.
The prime minister also questioned the transparency of the 2002 and 2008 general elections, pointing out that his family was not allowed to return to the country to contest the elections. “Both Shahbaz and myself were declared ineligible but we played our role. I was not allowed to become a member of the National Assembly but I did not cry foul,” he added.
However, the prime minister acknowledged the need for electoral reform. He said that a 33-member parliamentary commission had been formed to finalise recommendations for electoral changes. “The 2018 elections will take place under the recommendations of this committee,” he said.
But despite his conciliatory tone, ostensibly directed at the PTI, the prime minister spoke firmly about Dr Tahirul Qadri’s PAT. Lamenting that Pakistan had remained a victim of political instability for which the country had paid a heavy price, he said his government “will not allow anyone to spread anarchy in the country.”
Taking a swipe at the role of media, the prime minister said “the media needs to reassess its role. They need to check if certain elements are trying to misuse the media for their goals.”
Earlier, the prime minister exchanged fecilitations with the nation on its upcoming Independence Day and stressed the need for resolve in promoting political stability for development and progress. He said that history bore testimony to the fact that the developed nations achieved their goals because of political stability and continuation of policies.
Nawaz added that the mandate given by the people in the 2013 general elections was accepted at every level. He said that his party had set new democratic traditions by accepting the mandate of other parties in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan.
Talking about his government’s performance during the last 14 months, the prime minister said; “I am not claiming any miracles when it comes to the progress of the country, but there has been improvement on several fronts when it comes to the economy.” He added that new mega projects had been initiated by his government, the economy had improved, confidence of foreign investors had been restored and exports had picked up.
Highlighting his government’s initiatives, the prime minister said that while he had started towards the journey of economic progress, prosperity, socio-economic development and peace, a few elements had unfortunately raised negative slogans of protest without any reasons. “We need to identify which hollow slogans have kept us stuck in poverty,” he added.
“Are these protests occurring because there are no corruption scandals since this government took over?” the prime minister rhetorically asked the nation.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 13th,2014.
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So, for over a year IK and PTI called out for a judicial investigation into the rigging that took place during the elections and nobody bats an eye, But the second that anti-government protests are planned, the PM himself requests the CJ to start an inquiry. This just disproves the theory anti-Imran Khan trolls were suggesting that PTI should legally challenge the results. Get these lunatics out of the government now!
a BIG QUESTION arises on ELECTION2013 is Article 62 & 63 !!!!!
Dear Prime minister, If you are sure about your popularity and as you think you are the only hope for people of Pakistan then why don't you resign in the vast favor of Pakistan and proceed to mid term election after making some suitable electoral reforms.
I don't see any democracy in my country perhaps it might exists among a few families (Nawaz & PPP)
It baffles me how people think that Nawaz Sharif is a great leader. For heaven's sake the guy can't even speak properly and has no confidence and charisma whatsoever. I won't be surprised if whole of Monday/Tuesday was spent preparing for and shooting the speech. Even then he couldn't pull off a half decent job.. Its all about a live speech with eyes straight on the camera and speech content coming from the heart. Btw, not a PTI or PAT supporter here. I don't think any political party currently in Pakistan is worthy of leadership and addressimg issues.
@Ch. Ghafoor Islam: Thank You for telling us a good joke by saying that "Nawaz Shareef is the only hope for this country".
God bless Nawaz Sharif, our hero.
Nawaz Sharif is the only hope for the country. The puppets of establishment will ruin Pakistan.
Just wondering why E.T keeps updating this news with the new page. Perhaps they don't want to see anti PML-N posts in the comments section to start with.
Maturity shown by the Prime Minister. But Imran wants to derail the system. He is being guided by Establishment.
It was strange and pity to watch such a degraded rigged Prime Minister of Pakistan. He was looking like a leader in Vegetable Mandi not a country's Prime Minister.
Country is in the state of war while Imran and Qadri are doing politics. Shame for them.
@H Chaudhry: agree that he will not resign; he is too dense for that. he will be dragged out, that speech was his last chance to leave with some modicum of respectability; but he blew it; he has begun to believe the propaganda of his own spin masters - reminds me of the last days of Ayub, but Ayub went out with much more grace.
@Ch. Allah Daad: don't hold your breath and you need to learn to count more than 1-2
@Malveros: rather a fossil who belongs to a different age
I see some of the commentators reported to work together; successfully navigating the containeristan that is Punjab today and increasingly resorting to bitter language. Imran Khan, the author of books on the subject of Pakistan, go get the paper tiger who confusedly reads off of scripted speeches!
IT is fight between two mindsets, at one side Kings-Slaves and on other side Accountable leaders-independent public. When dust will settle Kings will be vanished and slaves will be independent standing with independent nation where they will be free to question their leaders. Advance Azadi Mubarak Ch. Allah Daad.
Nawaz Sharif's offer is like the size of brain - peanuts :)
Nawaz Shareef has a history of not accepting the reality.He took a leader like Imran Khan very lightly.He thought IK will forget his election rigging and 5 years will pass.He forgot that IK is not like Maulana Fazlur Rehman who can be purchased any time.
Imran Khan is an honest leader of Pakistan who wishes to put an end to sham democracy and replace it with true democracy.Even if Nawaz Shareef is given 20 more years to rule he can not deliver the public. He can not think beyond motor ways and mertos by taking foreign loans.His real mission of life to in increase his family empire.
@Ch. Allah Daad: @H Chaudhry: I think you guys really deserve the Sharif family to rule you and your generations ! Oh boy... I am so glad my children and their generations won't have to be a part of the mess... we left long ago. Smiles
The most predictable politician the world has ever seen.And this judicial comission is his version of trick out of the hat.Lol
Another delusional N league payroll keyboard warrior. Keep dreaming. Not only are both Sharif brothers history but in a few days they will also return to their rightful place at Adiala where they managed to weasel their way out from last time. This time they won't be so lucky.
I pity this guy, he thinks every person is fool to believe him. IK is right when he says no commission work independently till this Govt is in power, this can be proven from the fact that model town commission report is not yet made public and all the culprit of the incident including Gullu butts are not only freed but charged again to repeat same incidents in this long march.................time for NS to go now.
@Karachi Mirchi Neither late nor little. It is what it is. IK can take it or leave it. PM NS will not resign and wont go any where. If blood shed IK wants he will get it because of his lunatic antics and still IK will not be any thing.
Too little, too late. But, that's quintessential Nawaz Sharif.
Why is the govt afraid of a peaceful protest? Why have the newspapers made such a big deal about the "long march" - especially when not one of IK's big Tsunamis has amounted to squat. And lastly - doesn't the Constitution protect the right to protest - if so then the govt should stand aside and protect the Constitutional rights of it's citizens.
Investigative commissions in Pakistan are joke and nothing came out of it historically. Keep steadfast Imran Khan we are with you
Two more days and these fake revolutionary thugs will become history. Government and people of Pakistan will not allow to take root tradition of toppling governments through street power.
An extremely mature and polite leader. We are with you NS. Keep marching ahead.
Another sixer to Imran Khan and ball is out of the stadium!