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Accountability

WITH reference to the news item ‘Raja Ashraf struck down’ (April 16), I am surprised at the statement of Pakistan Bar Council member Mohammad Ramzan Choudhri that “It would have been better to have allowed him to contest the election and the people of his constituency given the opportunity to either reject or elect him.”

If this is made the rule, what’s the use of Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution? In most civilized countries, ministers immediately resign if there is the slightest evidence of corruption against them, but here no minister would step down even if he is involved in a murder case.

In Pakistan, we know that corruption cases take a long time to be decided, so if blatantly corrupt people are allowed to contest elections and they happen to get elected, cases against them will drag on for years, giving them more opportunities to loot the national exchequer.

As far as the average voter is concerned, he is more inclined to vote for someone who belongs to his own caste, even if the candidate is known to have indulged in illegal activities like submitting a fake degree or selling land which doesn’t belong to him.

It is much better if the ECP (or the courts) decide the eligibility or otherwise of candidates.

SHAKIR LAKHANI
Karachi
Printed in DAWN, April 18, 2013

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