A right snatched away
President Musharraf fulfilled his promise by conducting free and fair elections in a relatively peaceful environment.
First time in Pakistan’s history a democratically elected government finished its constitutionally required time of 5 years. First time in Pakistan’s history people were allowed to exercise their ‘righ’t to choose their government without the interruption of the military.
But unfortunately even rights are not safe from attacks as a large number of women in Peshawar were barred from voting at polling stations by the electoral candidates of the provincial constituencies of PF-6, PF-7 and PF-8. A female presiding officer at the Khazana Bala polling station showed reporters an agreement written in Urdu that said, “We, the candidates for PF-8, announce a ban on women’s participation in the February 18 balloting, given that women had been barred from voting in the previous elections as well.” Similarly, panchayats (local village councils) in Mianwali and Sargodha also banned women from voting.
Apart from that, Abdul Sattar Edhi, a social worker, upon reaching the Kharadar polling station in Karachi, came to know that he could not vote because his name was not registered. Shocked and disappointed he said, “I am a true Pakistani, but cannot exercise my right of voting.”
Similarly, deposed chief justice of Pakistan (CJP) Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhary and former superior judges Shakirullah Jan and Sardar Raza Khan, who are strictly under-house detention since November 3, weren’t allowed to cast their votes for the general elections aswell.
So what is a right? How do you define it?