ISLAMABAD - The eight-page working paper prepared by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) to resolve the current political turmoil in the country shows how the protesting party would have an upper hand in process of investigations of polls rigging which may finally result into the political death of the ruling PML-N and the federal government.

The working paper prepared in consultation with the legal mind of the country Abdul Hafeez Pirzada, if turned into an agreement with the mutual agreement of PTI and the government, will make the government vulnerable before the PTI, as the latter would select the sample of the constituencies to be scrutinised by the proposed judicial Commission(JC).

PTI has proposed that the complaints and allegations of pervasive and widespread rigging and manipulation shall be deemed to be ipso facto proven in the event the JC after examining, in the summary proceedings, a sample of not more than 30 constituencies of the National Assembly to be selected by the PTI (being the complainant) is prima facia satisfied by any evidence of the occurrence of 'pre-poll rigging, rigging on polling day or post-poll rigging.

Interestingly, the working paper does not propose any mechanism for the accountability of those involved in rigging of 2013 General Election, if rigging proved, unlike the tall claims of PTI chief Imran Khan that he would bring to justice all those who were involved in the rigging of last elections.

The working paper proposes that as interim governance arrangement and dispute resolution, PM will have to resign till the final report of JC. The paper had been shared with the government's negotiation team and it was preparing its answer to be consulted with the PTI who is protesting in the capital for around last 21 days against massive rigging in General Elections of 2013.

PTI has focussed on two contentious issues, enquiry into the allegations of massive and widespread illegalities and rigging (pre-poll, on-polling day and post-polling days) in last elections and the introduction of electoral reforms in addition to the measures to enable overseas Pakistanis to cast vote.

For this purpose, PTI has proposed the formation of Judicial Commission, comprising a panel of three judges of the Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan with the powers vested under special law (through fresh ordinance or Act of the Parliament). The JC must submit a legally binding and enforceable binding report on the veracity of the complaints not later than 30 days.

The proceedings of JC shall be 'summary in nature' and it shall be empowered to take into account 'circumstantial evidence'. The JC may elect to adopt at its discretion, a joint investigation team (JIT), comprising senior officials of federal and other investigation agencies including FIA, NADRA, ECP, ISI, MI and IB under full and exclusive control of the JC and it shall operate as the investigation arm of the commission.

The working paper says that with the establishment of JIT, the federal government shall also replace the current chiefs of NADRA, FIA as well as the Secretary ECP (Election Commission of Pakistan) with non-controversial and non-partisan professionals acceptable to PTI.

JC will have the mandate to examine the way in which ECP members were appointed as well as improper conduct against any member of the ECP or its employees in relation to Elections 2013, allegations regarding printing of ballot papers, improper conduct of returning officers (ROs), AROs and presiding officers, suspicious transfer and posting of officials and changes in locations of polling stations. The commission will also look into suspicious delays in consolidation and notification of results of the selected constituencies and eleventh hour changes in the original polling schemes in selected samples etc and others. 

In the event the complaints before the JC are deemed to have been proven, the prime minister shall forthwith advise the president to dissolve the National Assembly and the president shall appoint a caretaker setup that will undertake necessary electoral reforms prior to fresh general elections. PTI must have a meaningful role as consultee in all such appointments unlike it was deprived of this role previously, says the working paper. The General Election would be held under a reconstituted and non-controversial ECP appointed with the no objection of PTI. The prime minister and its cabinet must give a formal public commitment and guarantee in addition to signing of formal instrument.

PTI suggests that the demand for resignation of PM can hardly be termed unconstitutional when Article 58 (1) and 224 (1) of the Constitution expressively contemplates and provide for pre-mature dissolution of Parliament and establishment of a caretaker setup prior to the holding of general elections. The paper says that the demand of PTI for fresh elections is not novel in the Pakistan context as in 1977, PPP had agreed despite a landslide victory in the general elections and the events of 1977 and now have broad similarities.

The paper proposes that the existing Parliamentary Committee on Electoral Reforms must complete all of its work on the agreed reforms at the earliest. It proposes for the constitution of an expert committee comprising eminent lawyers and other experts on the subject above as the sub-committee of the existing parliamentary committee to assist it.

PTI has proposed the formation of Supreme Monitoring Council, after resignation of PM for 30 days and during the interim period till instalment of caretaker setup for the settlement of all disputes, disagreements or deadlocks between PTI and PML-N or between PTI and executive authorities in relation to complaints or contentious issues. The paper suggesting code of conduct says that use of so called secret funds by any agency or federal government or Punjab government must be strictly supervised and regulated and a mechanism for independent confidential audit of such secret funds must be introduced to restrict all unlawful, politically-motivated or arbitrary expenditures through secret funds.