Waheeda Shah slapping a test case for ECP -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Waheeda Shah slapping a test case for ECP

Ansar Abbasi

ISLAMABAD: The shameful Waheeda Shah case has become a test case for the newly-constituted permanent Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

Secretary ECP Ishtiak Ahmad Khan told The News here on Sunday that an inquiry report into the incident would reach Islamabad by Monday for its presentation before the Election Commission for action.

When inquired, the ECP secretary said that it was premature to say what kind of action would be taken against the PPP candidate Waheeda Shah, who dared to slap a female election official on the premises of a polling station. He said that the case would be placed before the Election Commission for decision.

An ECP source hinted that depending on facts of the case, the incident could even cost Waheeda Shah her just-won seat. The source said that this incident would also gauge whether the nation’s trust in the newly-constituted permanent Election Commission of Pakistan and strength of trust infused in it via the newly-enacted 20th Amendment was well placed.

“The mode and manner in which the ECP resolves this episode will help determine the direction whether the civil servants will ever be able to discharge their official duties or assist the ECP by demonstrated fairness, to carve the shape of the country’s future,” a retired federal secretary commented.

The female candidate slapped a lady member of the polling staff on the ECP duty in full media glare and admitted that too. The gravity of the incident, according to the retired secretary, besides its legal consequence, carries many questions of moral overtones as well as the perceived dignity of individual civil servant and his class on the whole.

This incident shook the whole of Pakistan and reflected on the mindset that rules most parts of Pakistan and has no respect for the rule of law. According to Moeed Pirzada, if the media and civil society failed to take a principled position and the Election Commission failed to prosecute Waheeda Shah for slapping the ECP polling lady officer in Sindh, then the ability of the Election Commission to hold free and fair elections will be seriously questioned.

It is unfortunate to note that the lady election official slapped by Waheeda Shah is not an ordinary official but a teacher. Teachers associations are also expressing their anger over the incident. “We strongly condemn it and register protest against this attitude,” a message from infuriated teachers of Sindh said.

“A person who don’t know the status, dignity and reverence of a teacher, what kind of service she will provide to the people of her constituency? A question from the people of whole Sindh!” the message under circulation through SMS read.

The News