KARACHI - Speakers at the meeting of Shura Hamdard Karachi chapter urged the government to empower the Election Commission of Pakistan to evaluate and enforce the implementation of manifesto, announced by the ruling party year-on-year basis.

The meeting was held on the theme: “General Elections – binding to code of conduct and electoral manifesto,” presided over by Justice (r) Haziqul Khairi at a local hall on Friday. Sadia Rashid, President, Hamdard Foundation Pakistan was also present at the meeting.

Speaking on the occasion, Commodore (r) Sadeed Anwar Malik said that it was necessary to monitor the casting of votes in general elections by TV channels in order to stop rigging. In a presidential election in America Algore was wining, but due to error in counting Bush was declared winner, afterwards it was discovered that Algore was the actual winner, but he didn’t disturb the democratic process and accepted the decision of US Supreme Court. Demonstration of the same spirit was also required in our country, he added.

Dr Abubakar Sheikh said that our Election Commission should be as powerful as of India which could give verdicts against the sitting governments. Election Commission of Pakistan, having representation of institutions not of provinces, should be made free from all pressures including Supreme Court, he added.

Justice (r) Haziqul Khairi said that Indian Election Commission chose its staff by itself without any interference of its government, that’s why there was no complaint of rigging after general elections in India. This practice must also be adopted in Pakistan, he asserted.

Absar Abdul Ali, Dy Speaker, Shura Hamdard Lahore lamented that there was no representation of laborers in Senate which explained the non-representation of the poor in parliament. Political parties tried to make voters, but they didn’t try to make good citizens where as a good citizen might be a good voter. Religious scholars, media and civil society should come forward to perform this duty, because we could get good leaders only out of good people, he added.

Zafar Iqbal, President, Defense Residents Society was of view that the internal elections in all political parties should be made mandatory in order to end the hereditary leadership in the country. Electoral constituencies must be made on non-political ground; the tenure of National Assembly and provincial assemblies be reduced to three years and no member be allowed to contest election more than two terms, he added.

Prof Dr Wiquar Ahmed Rizvi while emphasizing the qualities of good leaders said they must have strong character, integrity, spirit of service to people with selfless patriotism, because rise and fall of a nation was attached with right and wrong leaders. People should see a leader through the prism of these qualities when they would go for voting, he maintained.

Prof Kafil Ahmed was of the opinion that we should change the political, social and economic system simultaneously, because these systems were enter-woven and without the improvement of one the other could not improve, he added.

Engineer Anwarul Haq Siddiqui said that the plant of democracy could not grow in the darkness of poverty and illiteracy and incidence of Ahmed pure Sharquia was the proof of it and a manifestation of lack of education and knowledge in the people. Dr Naeem Qureshi and Usman Damohi also spoke.