The results of the by-elections all over the country should make the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) think hard. Not about the performance of Prime Minister Imran Khan. That is beyond criticism. But about the chief ministers of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Punjab.
Whatever might happen in general elections, the ruling party does not lose by-elections. But perhaps the worst perfor- mance of all came in KP, where the PTI lost a provincial seat which the PTI had won in the general election. The seat had been vacated by the death of the MPA, and even though the PTI had put up the late member’s child, it still lost. Obviously, the CM had gone to the wrong constituency and gone to sleep.
Even if Imran had got his wish, and ended the secrecy of the ballot, the incompetence of the CMs might have stopped the ruling party from the inevitable victory. He has shown, in his latest pronouncement, how the opposition will prevent the PTI from getting its fair share of Senate seats by selling their votes.
The Senate elections are growing increasingly mysterious, with the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) nominee Pervaiz Rashid having a strange tale to tell. He has been disqualified because of an unpaid bill at Punjab House of Rs7.05 million. When the objection was made, he said that he has not incurred the bill. He tried to clear the bill, presumably having the money conveniently close by, but found that the Punjab House officials were not on their seats. Whether or not they were in a meeting, the end result was the same: Rashid got disqualified.
Faisal Vawda, on the other hand, got through, though it was objected that he had had foreign nationality at the time he fought the National Assembly (NA) election. In fact, it was because the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has not decided that case, that he was allowed to contest the Senate.
Still, he is better off than Rashid. And then Mushahidullah Khan, who just passed away. He too had won his reputation in the Senate. Luckier than both were probably former United States President Donald Trump, who was acquitted by the US Senate in his second impeachment trial.
Apparently, a lot of Republican Senators felt that he was an ex-president, so he should not be convicted. That leaves the criminal courts to bring Trump to account for the January 6 attack on the US Capitol.
That means Trump is in the market for a good lawyer. Maybe he should get in touch with Nawaz Sharif. And maybe he should account for himself lucky that the US does not have a NAB. Well, it could not, could it?
Not with unpatriotic armed forces like the ones it has.
The Myanmar armed forces are true patriots, and those who are protesting against them are traitors, just like anybody will be, if they protest against anything similar over here. But the government is making arrangements. The IT Ministry has called on all ministries to switch to the National Telecommunication Corporation for hosting their websites. That means a simplification of the task of any traitors who try to resist a burst of patriotic exuberance by the armed forces. Look at Myan- mar, where traitors are trying to hack government websites. So, takeovers will have to be e-takeovers, and in addition to PTV and Parliament House, debt will have to be sent to the National Telecom Corporation. Or will it be OK to introduce a bot?
It is not just hackers that you need to worry about. Facebook has taken down all news content and links in Australia, to avoid having to pay a royalty to news organisations. Well, they have been taking down some government websites too. And one of
the advantages of the Internet has been the possibility of reaching the whole world. You cannot imagine the satisfaction of the Livestock and Dairy Development Department of Baluchistan at knowing that its advice on goat breeding can reach even Greenland. Of course, goat breeders in Greenland (who have landed on that site) have the satisfaction of knowing they can hastily visit another site.