Why army should stay out of polling stations?

Our politicians, writers, anchors, analysts and hired lobbies have been busy in attacking establishment (Army) under a well prepared plan, so much so they stooped so low and started campaign on social media by creating fake ID’s and coming openly because they had the support of the former government. Nowhere in the world have small or big the ruling party and for that matter opposition parties never talked about their own army as we witness in Pakistan. Under the cover of freedom of speech what is happening in Pakistan is no more a secret. There are no angels, all are prone to err but then there is a way to put the things in order

At present 80 percent functions of the government are being looked after by army and judiciary which is not at all their domain. But you cannot sit and watch destruction of everything therefore someone has to come forward to fill the vacuum and save it from total collapse. For last 71 years everyone wants change in the existing system but no one brings any change in the system, the main reason is we have converted politics in to profession where elite feels that it is their right that’s why we find just few families ruling Pakistan in rotation. They join hands to loot and plunder as a result all previous governments were dismissed on charges of massive corruption, in one case president appointed by PPP sacked his own party’s government that too on corruption charges.

Take case of all previous elections and look at their manifestos that is never implemented, unfortunately after the elections are over status quo is further strengthened and the circus goes on In 2013 elections approximately 70000 troops were deployed across Pakistan. But for 2018 elections, Election Commission of Pakistan has demanded 350000 personnel. It may not be possible to pull out such large number of troops from Eastern and Western borders that is more important to keep them there rather than deploying them for election duties.

It is planned to deploy army inside and outside the polling stations as was done during some bye elections. It is certain that army cannot spare personnel as per ECP request but 1 to 1.5 lacs can be spared. ECP is advised to call retired Law enforcement persons.

There have been massive rigging complaints in 2013 elections, called RO’s election and we witnessed longest sit in by PTI of 126 days in D Chowk Islamabad. During all this time former DG ISI was criticized and stories were floated that army was behind this whereas Gen Raheel Sharif assured in very clear terms and said no harm will come to democracy even then we witnessed famous Dawn Leaks drama against own national army
Unfortunately even the best suggestions are not considered by the authorities but for record purposes we would like to give some suggestions to army and ECP.

We all know elections are taking place on 25 July 2018, almost all the political parties have started saying that pre poll rigging is going on, objections are being raised against RO’s. Some objections against care takers have also been subject of Talk shows and this continues unabated.

Everyone will come out with one phrase “HUM NAY TU PAHLAY SAY HE NISHANDEHI KAR DEE THEE,HUM TU PEHLAY SAY HE YAY KEH RAHAY THAY” After the announcement of result of elections there will be spontaneous protests, strikes accusations against everyone creating law and order situation. The entire blame will come on army because they were inside and outside the polling stations.

Since army has been under criticism and accused of being close to a particular party and under new terminology termed as Khalai Maklooq, HUM EENT SAY EENT BAJA DEIN GAY, TUM TEEN SAAL KAY LIAY ATAY HO HUM HAMESHA RAHAIN GAY words to that effect. Under the circumstances it shall be in the interest of army to stay away from the elections and remain deployed on the outer parameter of the polling stations to stop entry of unauthorized persons.

Let Police, Rangers, FC and private Guards do the duties. ECP and army should ensure that no voter after casting his vote should be seen in the area he must leave the polling station area and under no circumstances should be allowed to stay there after having cast his vote. They are the people who create problem and form the crowd and do the rest as per party directions.

It is better to pre-empt dirty moves by political parties and anti state elements and that can only happen if army has lesser involvement in elections. Country and prestige is more important than anything else. It will be no use to cry over spilt milk. I hope someone is listening.

The writer is a freelance journalist and defence Analyst.

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