Former MNA from North Waziristan: Establishment Stole The People’s Mandate

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Pakistan was founded as a democracy in 1947 but it has been ruled by its military – primarily army – for the last 77 years. Elections in Pakistan have rarely been free and fair and the recent elections held in February were no different.

In a recent column, Mohsin Dawar, chairman of the National Democratic Movement (NDM) and former MNA from North Waziristan laid out in great detail how ‘the mandate of North Waziristan’s people was stolen in the elections.’ In his column Dawar “narrates the multi-stage plan that was conceived and carried out to ensure my defeat and impose a controlled figure on North Waziristan as its representative in the National Assembly.”

In the first stage, Dawar writes “an attempt was made to eliminate me physically. On 3 January, I became the target of a well-planned assassination attack and miraculously escaped death in Tapi, a village in North Waziristan. In the aftermath of the attack, the state opted for utter silence, and no action was taken against the perpetrators of the attack.”

The second stage, involved “doctoring of the electoral scheme. On the insistence of the favoured candidate and with the sanction of the unaccountable masterminds, the electoral scheme was altered so that the boundaries of the areas where I commanded a comfortable lead were distorted in a way to diminish my winning margin. Another tactic was to curtail voter turnout.” Next, during the third stage “to ensure the victory of my opponents, government employees who are also the frontline workers of their parties were appointed as presiding officers.”

However, when all these pre-election attempts at rigging failed, the final stage involved “hijacking a few key polling stations and rig the elections to ensure my defeat. And even if that failed, the plan was to tinker with Form 45 and I was the only one who predicted the Form 45 tempering fraud two days before the election. which I also voiced in my video message. Nobody took our warnings seriously at the time. Yet, two days later, the “Form 45” frenzy swept the nation as old and young questioned how elections were conducted and results were announced.”

Dawar points out that in his constituency, “the election result was withheld for two days after the polling time had elapsed. Polling staff in some of the areas were taken to the nearest Army/FC forts and they were forced to sign blank form 45. On the night of the 10th of February, the counting process stopped as no more results were coming and we were told that the counting of votes would resume at 10 am the next day. When we reached the DC compound the next morning, it was sealed, and we were stopped from entering the premises. Meanwhile, the results for the provincial seats, PK 103 and PK 104, were announced even before some of the polling staff had reached the venue for the vote count, while the polling staff were still bringing in the results from various polling stations. We have video evidence of this. When we decided to protest against this irrefutable evidence of rigging, we were attacked by the security forces. I lost four comrades to direct fire from the security forces outside Miranshah Cantt. I was also badly wounded by a gunshot.”

In conclusion, Dawar warns “The impudence with which intelligence agencies rigged the elections and used every tool in their toolkit, including openly extorting money from the people, gave a sense that, perhaps, if this would be the last election in the country.”

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Author: Nasim Hussain

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