PML-N was launched in the nineties as a B-team of the establishment to jointly rule and exploit the people of Pakistan. Today it has turned out to be a major national nuisance that is an estranged mistress of the establishment and has created its own disorder. Most civilian institutions have ceased to function and have been turned into personal fiefdoms loyal to their hiring masters.

In the 1985 party-less elections that was boycotted by Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), the largest political entity of the country a new breed of establishment chicks were hatched. In order to form a government each MNA, MPA was allocated a hiring quota. Recruitments were carried out in government departments mostly in education to please the voters. Criminals were inducted into the law enforcement agencies. Plots were doled out to loyal party workers causing bankruptcy of development agencies like KDA, LDA, CDA etc. On his last day as Chief Minister (CM) Punjab it is alleged that Nawaz Sharif allotted thousands of plots before handing over the charge.

The journey of Pakistan can be divided into three periods; rise, fall and future. The period of rise (1947-1958) saw struggle and sacrifice by the founding fathers with focus on nation building. In (1958-2008) 50 years of establishment control there was loot, plunder and empire building. With the forced ouster of the fourth khaki dictator in 2008 there was a ray of hope. Had the peoples mandate prevailed in 2013 elections future could have been promising but the B-team of the establishment through its administrative nuisance hijacked the movement. It seems the struggle for democracy has to continue, the comrades of change cannot hang their boots yet.

The role of establishment (Khakis, Qazis, Baboos) and the corrupt politicians they have hatched continues to be detrimental for the nation.

Fortunately the comrades of change continue to fight on. Lawyers’ movement supported by civil society seriously dented the establishment but unfortunately the B-team in connivance with the Qazis and Baboos established its stranglehold. Khakis had to go on back foot to restore their image. Through rigging PML-N was able to gain absolute control of the National Assembly and Punjab Provincial Assembly, leaving Sindh with PPP.

Kaptaan’s dharna and Raheel Sharif’s leadership of the Zarb-e-Azb has weakened the B-team. Tainted mandate has no credibility only nuisance value. A free and fair election can bring back the democratic order on track. General Yahya Khan the second khaki dictator may have had other ideas but the electoral process was credible in 1970. As the results were un-expected since then ten elections have been manipulated either by the establishment or its B-team.

Recently at the walima reception of the son of Ex-Chief Justice Tassaduq Jillani, I had the chance of interacting with the judiciary and the legal community. It is widely perceived that the judiciary is soft with PML-N, some quarters claim that the lawyers’ movement was mostly funded by this party. During discussion it was pointed out that Lahore is Sharif’s constituency and they were unbeatable here. On this I asked a direct question, if they were so popular why do they manipulate the ballot? The answer I got was that it was not manipulation rather incompetence of the Election Commission. I wish they were that innocent, somehow this slackness favours the same party again and again.

There can be no democracy without a credible ballot. With ten manipulated electoral exercises between 1977 to 2013 and two fake referendums it is nothing but a façade. First it was the khaki driven establishment that started this game of ballot manipulation and then its B-teams the PML-N took over. Now when the khaki desire political cleansing its B-team has come in the way. The current Chief of Army Staff (COAS) is walking a very fine line. As a professional soldier he has no political ambitions, which is being exploited by PML-N to continue unabated with their loot and plunder. Such a situation ultimately leads to the bullet.

Credible ballot is the only way forward. Establishments and its B-teams cannot govern the country. Peoples mandate must prevail. As the only remaining functional national institution the khakis have a role in establishing the rule of the ballot and then returning back to their barracks where they rightfully belong. Public-private partnership may have some merit but this Khaki-Lota union has none and should have no political indulgence.

Political cleansing with no sacred cows is the call of the nation that must be honored. An honest ballot followed by real transition of power is the need of the hour. In 1970 the electoral process was credible but there was no desire to tamper power to the elected representatives of the people which then led to transfer civil war and break-up of Quaid’s Pakistan.

In order to survive the system has to function. Disfunctionality invariably leads to collapse. Unlike his predecessors General Raheel Sharif desires to operate within the constitutional framework which in many ways is a good sign. But then the constitution has to be followed in other areas as well. There are strict laid down parameters on the basis of which election candidates have to be scrutinized. In three out of four constituencies pointed out by Kaptaan, PML-N candidates have been disqualified yet they insist on hanging on to them why? The election cell within ISI has tons of data on all the elections and the contestants on the basis of which they can be disqualified. DG ISI should be tasked to prepare a list of electables with conduct unbecoming. Constitutional rule of law should be binding and applicable to all otherwise the system will collapse like a house of cards. The rule of PML-N is as undesirable as the establishment hegemony, the ballot must prevail to embark on the journey for real change based on nation not empire building.