In the first free and fair election of 1970, most electables were wiped out. Their plight was so miserable that Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto (ZAB) remarked that not even Dr. Christian Bernard can bring them back to life. Mujib’s Awami league won big in East Pakistan, while Bhutto’s People’s Party prevailed in the Western wing. Establishment was taken aback, its party PML (Convention) was nowhere. Qayyum League was the third largest party in the parliament followed by Wali Khan’s National Awami Party (NAP).

Ayub Khan’s PML(Convention) is the mother party of both PML-N and PML-Q and their genealogy leads all the way to the GQH and the consolidated colonial establishment that consisted of the Khakis, Qazis and Baboos together with the controlled press . Zia then carved out his PML-N from the skeleton of PML(Convention), while Musharraf decanted PML-Q from the dirt of PML-Q. Purpose of both parties is to stall change and strengthen status-quo while PML-Q represents the old order PML-N has created its own disorder in most civilian institutions.

Due to its long stints in power and being an establishment embryo itself PML-N however has succeeded in producing cracks in colonial state organs left behind by the colonists. The Baboos in Punjab are in their total control while they have made major inroads into the Qazis as well seriously undermining the absolute power once enjoyed by the Khakis and GHQ.

As an institution the Army, has been very protective of its interests while ignoring the importance of other civilian institutions. Ayub Khan’s EBDO (Elected Bodies Disqualification Ordinance) knocked out the founding fathers from the political arena replacing them with third rate leadership. PML(Convention), PML(N), PML(Q), MMA and even TTP are a gift of the Khakis. After eliminating terror even political cleansing will need their help.

Pakistan is a constitutional democracy. There has to be supremacy of law based on this unanimous document. For the system to function, the electoral process has to be credible. Establishment parties rely on support of state apparatus rather than public standing. In the 2008elections PML-N lost big because of Benazir Bhutto’s assassination. In the 2013 electoral exercise PML-N was able to manipulate the process by inside assistance. Election tribunals have disqualified several of their candidates which they now blame on the incompetence of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

Both PML-N and PML-Q rely heavily on the police force for their political survival. The Inspector General of Police is like a personal serf who is posted out at will and so are the Station House Officers (SHO). Without depoliticizing this force law and order cannot improve. However there is broad agreement that the police in KPK is independent and managed professionally.

In the last three decades (1985 to 2015) both PML-N and PML-Q have recruited individuals into the government departments against merit.

The departments of education, revenue, irrigation, health and police have been badly affected by this flawed approach of governance. Most civilian institutions have stopped functioning. While salaries and perks are drawn from the exchequer no service is provided to the public.

There is total lack of discipline even office hours are not kept. Employees come and go at will with no checks or monitoring.

The very existences of such parties defy the basics of democracy. This Khaki supported ‘Musical Chairs of Power’ must come to an end for Pakistan to move forward. Credible ballot is the best way forward but no one seems interested in it. While the khakis look the other way despite having tons of data, the Baboos and Qazis go along with the manipulators blaming everything on incompetence of ECP. However, No one ever gets punished while the nation has to endure corrupt and incompetent political leadership.

After the 1970 electoral surprise when the establishment had to transfer power a new concept was developed called ‘Positive Results’. Had re-elections been held in 1977 as per the constitution PPP would had have been back to power. To retain control a new concept was developed called ‘Positive Results’. Had re-elections been held in 1979 as per the constitution Air Marshal’s Tehrik-e-Istaqlal had a chance.

Instead Zia created the PML-N to remain at the helm and so did Musharraf by creating PML-Q. For the nation the results have only been negative.

Between 1977 to 2013, ten elections have been manipulated in search of positive results which were never achieved. Imagine had these elections been free and fair strictly under the constitution where Pakistan would have been today. Martial Law is not the solution nor their tail coats in the form of PML-N, PML-Q or MQM. Democracy cannot survive without the ballot.

ZAB remained an anti-establishment force because there were masses behind him. Peoples Party survived because of his pro-people legacy till Zardari shattered the dream. The Khakis under Raheel Sharif have their work cut out. Elimination of terror is high on their agenda but without political cleansing it will be meaningless. Constitution must be followed in letter and spirit. Despite the turmoil the Khakis have remained within constitutional limits while the politicians have not. Loans, tax and utility bill defaulters cannot contest elections. The laid down criteria for candidates must be applied across the board. The election cell within ISI has tons of data that should be put to good use for Pakistan and its people and not used only for institutional advantage. An autonomous and revamped Election Commission together with the logistic support of the Khakis can revive the country as a true constitutional democracy where will of the people must prevail through an honest ballot. The ball is in ‘Khakis’ court it will either be the ballot or the bullet. Pernsonally I favour the ballot but I am not sure about the vested interests laden parties like PML- and PML-Q who continue to move in the direction of the bullet.