Listening to television breaking news, stating that the election on the provincial seat PS-53 has been declared null and void and Waheeda Shah disqualified for two years, and that the decision has been made with a vote of three in favour and two against, my first reaction, as a person not well-versed in legal matters of course, was that perhaps the dissenting members wanted to give a stiffer sentence. However, I was taken aback when it was subsequently disclosed that the ECP chief Justice (retd) Hamid Ali Mirza and Sindh member Justice (Retd) Rosahn Essani actually opposed two-year disqualification while members from Sindh, Balochistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, retired justices among them, voted in favour. Full marks to the media that filmed the shameful incident and showed it repeatedly on television otherwise the decision could have very easily swung the other way. However, it is shocking to learn that  there is such a great disconnect between the public sentiment and that of at least some of our officials and that even legal experts can disagree so much in a case which definitely cannot be termed to be the most complicated one in the legal history, again in my opinion, as a lay man, of course.


Karachi, march 7.