ISLAMABAD–Former president Asif Ali Zardari has called for broad-based electoral reforms for the sake of political stability and to put an end to what he termed the manipulated political transfer that has been the bane of Pakistan’s political landscape during the past six decades or so.
“It is hoped that the agreement on formation of judicial commission will mark an end to confrontational and dharna politics and pave way for PTI legislators to play their due role in the Parliament instead of on the streets,” he said on Wednesday.
However, the former president said, there is a pressing need for comprehensively addressing issues in election malpractices before, during and after the elections with a broad-based consensus from all political parties and stake holders.
“Except for temporarily lowering political temperatures, the agreed judicial commission — being too little too late — unfortunately does not address fundamental issues in Pakistan’s electoral landscape,” he said.
Zardari called upon all political parties to forge consensus on the measures that need to be taken whether by way of amending the Constitution or adopting new legislation or by taking purely administrative measures for ensuring free, fair and transparent elections that genuinely reflect the will of the people.
Pakistan Peoples Party’s co-chairman recalled that sometime back a multi party parliamentary committee had been set up to examine election related Constitutional Articles and laws and recommend suitable changes for banishing electoral malpractices before, during and after elections.
“There is need for this multi-party parliamentary committee to expedite its recommendations and place the draft of Constitutional Amendments and draft of legislation before the Parliament,” said Zardari. The committee should complete its task within a defined time line, he added.
Furthermore the Parliamentary Committee should also invite suggestions from the general public and stakeholders for arriving at broad based consensus for long lasting and durable solution of the issues, the former president said.
“Wisdom is not the monopoly of one or few political parties. Truth and wisdom emerges only as a result of discussion among a large number of stakeholders in which each lays claim to a bit of the reality. Various stake holders and indeed the public at large need to be also involved in consultation process to finalize electoral reforms,” he concluded.
The 2018 Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) annual conference is scheduled for April 8 to 11 in Boao, Hainan Province. The forum will be themed "An Open and Innovative Asia for a World of Greater Prosperity."
— The Daily Mail - People's Daily