A lot is being said and written about Qadri’s long march and the consequential Islamabad Declaration, a few commending but most condemning it for various reasons. The most vehement condemners are the corrupt politicians who see the red rag flying at their faces. Whatever the deriding analysts, the mediamen and the politicians might say, one thing is quite clear that Qadri has achieved his objective of canvassing and convincing the nation that most of our present politicians are corrupt and that there is a dire need for the electoral reforms if we want clean and honest politicians to rule this country. The ruling elite has more or less granted him his four demands in this regard and agreed to implement them accordingly also. The most important of these is to ensure the eligibility of a candidate according to the articles 62, 63 and 218 of the constitution.

This has laid a great onus on the Election Commission to prove itself equal to the task, and it may be able to do so if it is powerful, and assured assistance of all government departments and agencies. The political parties’ leaders, who act more or less as the demigods of their respective parties must also be made responsible and accountable for nominating the right kind of people to contest the elections instead of the present trend of having the upper most consideration of their being ‘electable’ irrespective of their moral qualities. In that the political parties should themselves carry out a thorough pre-nomination scrutiny of the credentials of their candidates and if the nomination papers of more than 25 percent of their nominated candidates are found unacceptable by the ECP, the whole party should be debarred from contesting the elections. A lot of damage has been done to the democracy in the country by the time and again nomination of the hereditary and professional looters and plunderers and it is time that the naïve voters were not exploited any more by such corrupt in the name of democracy.

COL RIAZ JAFRI (r),

Rawalpindi, January 20