While the moral turpitude at its worst in public addresses whilst electioneering by politicos reflected in the recent spate of tirade and outburst of profanity aired on media particularly by political stalwarts– Ayaz Sadiq, Fazal u Rehman and Perez Khatak –following the suit of PTI chieftain Imran Khan went unabated for quite some time, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has swung into action prompting a maiden notice served on PTI chief Imran Khan. The ‘outspoken’ Khan had to submit with ECP an undertaking in black and white assuring the electoral watchdog that he will abstain from such severe verbalization as ‘Donkey’, a remark hurled by him at the PML-N votaries heading to welcome Nawaz Sharif at Lahore airport on his post-conviction return from London. Those flaying Imran khan for ”founding the aura of abrasive language and name-calling in public meetings”, and shaming him in the same fashion have joined the chorus of their own adversaries, not for good cause, in a blatant display of moral degeneration reducing the Pakistan politics void of ethics and principle. The menace is a conscious effort to deflect public attention from their follies and governance failure and shifting the buck to their political foes in reverberating vocabulary voiced in a vociferous way.
Be reminded that the phenomenon traces back to the political era of the 1970s followed by 1980 and onward fouling up deplorable political annals marked by politics of vendetta. Crying out the rise of mudslinging into politics the PML-N itself is to blame for introducing such culture which is no new as is evident by the PML-N pattern Nawaz Sharif’s on-record rant against the then PPP ex-PM Benazir Bhutto in early 90s. In, what can be billed as destitute of moral sense, Nawaz Sharif in a public address hurled gross insults at Benazir Bhutto to the utter shock of the bourgeoisie. Some are of the view that much can be apportioned to Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) in light of its leaders’ leading anti-Maududi slogans–“Sau Yahoodi, Aik Maududi”— an indirect reference to Jamat e Islami founder Maulana Abu al-Ala Maududi’s certain ideologies, back in 1970s electioneering ahead of General Elections the verbatim replicated being against Imran Khan in the present day politics, which still subsists on memory. Zulifqar Ali Bhutto’s diction to direct criticisms towards the political antagonists is ineffable given the social ethical code of Pakistan.
It is vastly believed that the fling perpetrated by their predecessors has been perpetuated by descending politicos of present fanning culture of stripping off opponents in insolent, derogatory way making the language of disgust order of the day to appeal the votaries leaving a bad taste in the mouth of masses. Preying upon credulity and making most of the short-lived political memory of protean public the select bevy of politicos look to be bent upon venting spleen at against each other albeit dwarfing their stature as a leader.
In the ugly run of taking on opponents, PTI ex-Chief Minister Pervez Khatak went a step forward, which was actually below the belt, by uttering indecorous phrases against PPP during a public address in KPK.
Given the political stature of JUI-F head, Maulana Fazal ul Rehman enriched by his clout held over his disciples of a cult as a religious luminary, his political demeanor recently marked by an unprecedented display of tirade against Imran Khan must have bruised sentiments of opponents and disappointed his impression of a courteous and irenic political notable.
Some people are of the opinion that relying upon verbal onslaught some, otherwise, not much-celebrated politicians, have been catapulted into limelight merely thanks to their venomous articulation and personally coined political parlance against their opponents on TV screens. The pervading political scenario rife with personal characterization, and void of political polite flies in the face of all those political forces that keep trumpeting to elevate Pakistan to a civilized democratic set-up if voted to power.
One must be mindful of the fact that the (vexed) notion of freedom of expression is rooted in western cultural norms and values, is contravene to our code of moralities and ethics defining the ; it is pertinent to mention here that even the western countries’ political fabric has never been seen to get loosened so worst as in Pakistan.
Recently, the three bigwigs are facing punitive action as Ayaz Sadiq, Fazal ur Rehman’s explanations on violation notices could not satisfy ECP, and the announcement of Khatak’s probable electoral victory has been subjected to clearance from ECP in the case. It is apposite mentioning that as of now for want of a stringent clause providing for fearsome punitive action in case of code violation, the instant ECP code of conduct originally does not delegate power to the election watchdog to go beyond certain action.
So, for cessation of the curse ECP is required to introduce need-driven key amendments to its constitution by incorporating clauses providing for severe punitive actions such as gagging in media, suspension of membership from the respective political party, debarring from taking part in electoral contest and the like of those entailed by code violations in this respect in other countries. Political parties are at the same time necessitated to bring in swing doctors for helping effective mass communication and training the art of euphemizing opinions and remarks by their leaders while addressing the public at large.
Moreover, indeed a morally elevated political system in Pakistan can be achieved provided ECP supported by political parties watches out the infiltration of apolitical and insensitive lot lacking in political acumen into an already nuisance-plagued politics and if individuals possessing high emotional IQ level are welcomed into party folds.
Hope is always alive.