One candidate for the by-elections for an National Assembly seat in Haripur, Hazara who had been given a ticket by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s party PML-N has been addressing a public meeting yesterday and saying that he admits before Allah Almighty and the people be witness that he and his family are thieves and dacoits. He added that this was not meant to be a joke but the full truth; nevertheless he was asking the people to vote for him in the forthcoming by-elections.

Apart from the fact that it is noteworthy that PML-N is giving tickets to thieves and dacoits, giving proof what kind of party this is, or democracy is now taken for a ride by the champions of charter of democracy? there is another question to be asked: how could a candidate of such dishonourable character get the approval of the Election Commission? What is that scrutiny of candidature by Election Commission under the law? What about the paras 62 and 63 that prescribes a clean record and piety for candidates? It seems the PML-N is not taking good governance seriously neither their own anti-corruption move in the country nor the plans for improving the election rules. Such open statement of a candidate admitting wrongdoings should create immediate consequences from both sides – party, its leader (Kaptan) and election commission. Otherwise PML-N and the electoral system of Pakistan are found patronising corrupt elements purposefully and by intent and elections farce.

ALI ASHRAF KHAN,

Karachi, August 15.