What Waheeda Shah did had no precedent in the country’s electoral history. But what the Election Commission (ECP) has done has no parallel either. The PPP candidate from PS-53 Tando Muhammad Khan’s bye-elections acted on the polling day like a lady Rambo and slapped two polling staff members aggressively, with a police officer standing by her side unmoved. The media telecast the footage of the incident that led to her disqualification for two years by the ECP, besides declaring the results of this constituency as null and void. Waheeda Shah had earlier been declared winner by the ECP. The Election Commission has gone a step further and ordered registration of a case against the culprit. The police officer present on the unfortunate incident has since been suspended and departmental inquiry initiated against him.

The ECP’s decision has been acclaimed by people from all walks of life and is termed as a trend-setter. No one, no matter how influential he/she is could dare take the law into their hands. It is about time that the ECP also come up with stringent laws to obviate the carrying of weapons near the polling stations and aerial firing done by the supporters of contesting candidates to celebrate the announcement of results. Such moves would help maintain peace at the polling stations and save innocent lives that are unfortunately lost as a result of clashes between the contesting parties.