PML-N President Mian Nawaz Sharif has reiterated his party’s earlier demand for immediate general elections. He was addressing a press conference after former PPP Senator Enver Baig joined the PML-N at the Punjab House in Islamabad on Wednesday. He based his call for early elections on, paraphrasing his words, "every passing day exposing the government’s corruption scandals... (which is) a blot on democracy". Several other parties from the opposition have also been making this call off and on. It is acknowledged by all, that corruption – particularly, the rulers’ lust for money – lies at the root of most problems in society. There can be no end to greed. Though there might be other causes of misappropriation of money, bad governance, unconscionable price hike, unheard of defiance of the judiciary, extortion of money, insecurity, etc; the amassing of wealth by hook or by crook, somehow rears its ugly head in all of these social evils.

Mian Nawaz Sharif maintained that the nation was so perturbed by the corruption scandals of present rulers that it could not stand them a day longer. Without doubt, after a few years in friendly opposition, he is finally articulating the views of the silent majority of the population.

The situation in the country would favour general elections to be called as soon as possible, in accordance with the rules, as stipulated in the Constitution. After all, in a truly functioning democracy it is not unusual to observe a call by the electorate, to make a fresh choice of their representatives, once the present governing setup has failed to deliver. But the catch-22 in Pakistan’s case is underlined by Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry when he lamented, during the course of a hearing on Wednesday, that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) could not, in the past four years, prepare a voters’ list (free from bogus entries and inclusive of only genuine ones). There are no two opinions that the first requirement of fair and transparent elections is a correct and up-to-date list of the electorate. That is why some political parties, the Tehrik-i-Insaaf being one, have repeatedly asked for the preparation of a voters’ list that reflects the true picture of the electorate in the country. The question is, that if the list is not yet complete, how will the elected candidates be assumed to be representing their constituencies. Secondly, how do the PML-N and others wishing for early elections hope to see this situation change for the better? The ECP which has failed to meet their earlier deadlines for having the list ready, must hurry up and finish the required work.