Election Commission of Pakistan must be made independent and powerful and all Constitutional issues must be resolved before elections to remove stigma of ‘muk muka’ and avoiding any controversies thereafter, it said.
These demands came out in a meeting of PESA with its President Lt. Gen. Ali Kuli Khan (Retd), in chair. Others present included Vice Admiral Ahmad Tasnim, Air Marshal Masood Akhtar, Lt General Naeem Akbar, Brig Mian Mahmud, Brig Masud ul Hassan, Major Farouk Hameed Khan, Major Khurram Naveed Khan, and Naik Raja Muhammad Fazil.
Formation of caretaker government should not be merely confined to a deal between two groups in the parliament. Political parties outside the parliament must not be ignored as these command massive support, the former generals demanded.
They added that views and aspirations of a broader segment of the populace must be taken in to account in formation of the caretaker set up.
The meeting observed that huge amount of funds are being dished out in cash and in kind under different heads like charity, poverty alleviation and income support funds etc. which is as part of pre-poll rigging.
Instead of helping the economy to grow, these programmes have taken the country to record heights of debts and very close to bankruptcy. Election Commission must come out heavily to stop such unproductive expenditure just meant to lure the voters, the former military strategists said.
They said that people are looking for a change; this can happen only if the voters free themselves from stranglehold of feudal lords and influence of ‘baradari’ system.
It was decided that PESA will soon start a nationwide campaign in conjunction with other likeminded organizations to ask the people to vote on merit alone.
PESA members also took note of the situation created by plans to divide Punjab and create a province of Bahawalpur-South Punjab and strongly opposed creation of provinces on ethnic basis, in a hurry.
Members expressed deep concern about the deterioration of law and order saying that despite orders from the Supreme Court any improvement was now beyond the capabilities of the lame duck government. Solutions will probably have to wait for the next government to effectively deal with disordered situation dominating country.
Grave concern was expressed over disturbing reports of foreign powers promoting their interests by investing heavily in our media. All Pakistanis need to be cognizant of this danger while authorities must take measures to thwart such evil intentions.