S:     I think that the judicial commission should probe Imran Khan’s allegations. I mean the PTI created this whole narrative, sold it to its supporters and continues to reinforce it to this day, so why not let the court determine whether they’re right or they’ve been lying through their teeth.
A:     It’s very difficult to prove all that the PTI has been alleging. The commission would have a much harder time investigating a grand conspiracy to bring the PML-N into power. The burden of proof is much higher. I mean how will you find evidence of two guys sitting in a room and plotting a grand scheme? Wiretaps? Secret videos? Phone records? All of this in the past. What the commission can practically do is to put aside everything, and look at the results. Open the bags, and you will know how much rigging took place, and in whose favour.
S:     There’s some level of rigging in every election, not just in Pakistan but almost everywhere else in the world. That doesn’t mean we invalidate the entire exercise! If you want to check each constituency, then why not stick to the Election Tribunals? Why form a judicial commission to do their job and create a precedent which would be relied upon by future parties to challenge every election that goes against them.
A:     Election Tribunals operate on the adversarial principle. The complainants are required to submit evidence, which they usually do not possess. What we need is an inquisitorial approach to determine rigging and its scale. The commission will take it upon itself to find evidence, call for documents and testimonies to be produced. By doing so, it will end up answering the real question here: whether the scale of rigging was such that the current government is invalid.
S:     I’m sorry but I don’t think that’s the only question here. You need to hold political parties accountable for the allegations they make, especially if those allegations prompt judicial inquiries. What is to prevent a party for making grand claims just to force the state’s hand into making a commission? I can sit here and make up fantastic lies to get a hearing, then ask the judge to ignore all I’ve said and conduct a separate inquiry altogether.