Ansar Abbasi: Journalism or Wishful Thinking – by Ahmed Iqbalabadi

It seems that PML-N’s unofficial spokesman, Ansar Abbasi has a front page spot dedicated for his “reports” in The News. His reports are usually in forms of discussions with majority “unnamed” sources and a very few known personalities. Like Syed Adil Gilani of Transparency International, who gives Ansar Abbasi first look at his upcoming reports, former Secretary, Election Commission of Pakistan, Kunwar Dilshad is another lucky man. Because of Ansar Abbasi, he remains one of the most quoted people of Pakistan.

With Senate and then General Elections expected in the next one and half years, we can expect Kunwar Dilshad to be regularly featured by Jang and The News. Ansar Abbasi’s hatred for the PPP is well known. In a recent Capital Talk, in which he was with Captain Imran Khan he said “Mayn to nahee chahoon ga kay yeh krupt gaverment apni muddat poori karey”.

In 25th October’s, The News, he has reported that “Mass resignations will force new elections”. The report is based on an interview of Kunwar Dilshad and perpetual wish of PML-N, PTI and Jamaat-e-Islami. His point of view is very simple: get 300 members of Parliament to resign. How that will happen is basically 167 PML-N MPAs and 91 MNAs will resign and may be joined by a few more. once that happens, there will be chaos and the army will step in to force fresh elections.

Being a smart man with pulse on economics, he has gotten Kunwar Dilshad to say that government will not be in a position to handle such an en-masse resignations.  This should be read in context when Shahbaz Sharif recently said that any elections held under Zardari will be rigged. It seems that the PML-N is getting their media agents to work for them.

One point that the PML-N and their media friend do not realize that the politics of Punjab is not at all idealistic as they think. History has shown that leaders of Punjab have made 180 degree turns on numerous occasions. Be it the Unionist Party becoming Muslim League overnight in 1947, numerous Punjab based leaders leaving ZAB in 1978, leaving the PML-N and joinin Kings party after Nawaz Sharif and family went on vacations to Saudi Arabia, the same Kings party members coming back to the PML-N in 2008-09. It is quite likely that if the PML-N chooses this route, they may not even get support for their own party.

Mass resignations will force new elections

ISLAMABADCan the Zardari-Gilani duo sustain the pressure of 300 to 350 resignations from the national and provincial assemblies if the PML-N decides to go for en bloc resignations?

Generally, political observers say “no” to this question but the government insists that it would hold by-elections. But the option is ruled out by Kanwar Dilshad, former secretary Election Commission.

Dilshad says that if the PML-N and its like-minded groups go for en bloc resignations from the National Assembly and Punjab Assembly, it would leave no option for the government but to dissolve the assemblies and hold fresh elections.The PML-N has successfully won the sympathies of most members of the PML-Q like-minded group besides wooing others too while the Jamaat-e-Islami is keenly watching the changed mood of the N-League for possible future cooperation, provided the League does not go back to its friendly opposition’s mode.

Imran Khan is, however, too critical of the PML-N and is not willing to talk to the party even if it seriously moves to oust the rulers. Taking advantage of these serious rifts within the opposition groups, the rulers in Islamabad are fuelling these differences and provoking the Imran-Sharif confrontation.

However, Kanwar Dilshad, without commenting on these political aspects, is sure that the PML-N is in a strong position to force the mid-term elections under a neutral set-up. Although, Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani has recently said that if the N-League resigns from the assemblies, the government would hold by-elections, Dilshad said that in the present scenario, Pakistan would not be in a position to hold by-elections on such a huge scale.

He said that the resignation of around 100 members from the National Assembly and almost 200 from the Punjab Assembly would mean dissolution of these assemblies.

Dilshad, who has spent his life in the election commission and has been a part of most of the post-1970 elections in the country, foresees setting up of a caretaker government and the holding of fair elections under the supervision of Pakistan Army if the PML-N takes the extreme step of en bloc resignations from the assemblies.

He believed that such a huge number of resignations from parliament would compel the military to enforce the Kakar formula under which all the parties involved in the crisis were made to resign to pave the way for a neutral caretaker government and holding of fair elections. Kanwar said that en bloc resignation would cause a serious constitutional crisis for the government but cited three technical reasons — preparation of new electoral rolls, delimitation of constituencies and vagueness as to who in the absence of judicial officers would be assigned the role of returning officers — which in his view would not let the ECP to hold by-elections on more than 300 seats. He reminded that in in 1993, even one-third resignations made the basis for the dissolution of the National Assembly.

The PML-N, which recently came out of the mode of much-condemned “friendly opposition” to seriously challenge the present regime that is known for its corruption and misrule, is however yet to take a final decision on going for en bloc resignations. However, the Leader of the Opposition and senior PML-N leader, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, told this correspondent that there was no question of going back from the present



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