HRCP wants to remind all parties that the democratic process has been revived.

LahoreMay 13, 2013: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has called upon all political parties to respect the May 11 verdict of the people and avoid doing anything that could derail the democratic system. It has emphasised that HRCP’s election monitors on the ground across the country did not find any evidence of systematic rigging on May 11.

In a press statement issued on Monday, HRCP said: “Taking note of protests by some political parties against the election results, HRCP wants to remind all parties that the democratic process that has been revived in the country after much exertion must not be disrupted.

We wish to point out that HRCP did not find any credible evidence of large-scale or systematic rigging in the country. This view is based on the findings of HRCP election observation teams on the ground across the country. These teams had the benefit of HRCP’s record of monitoring each and every election in the country since 1988.

HRCP election monitors have certainly noted instances of individual malpractices here and there, and HRCP is concerned that the election process was badly affected in Balochistan by lack of adequate security. Serious complaints of irregularities have been received from a couple of constituencies and a long delay in the announcement of results has caused unrest. All these complaints in Balochistan and elsewhere must be fairly addressed. However, the people should be able to distinguish these irregularities from both systematic rigging and the inane display by the Election Commission.

We sincerely hope that those who have lost in the elections would admit defeat gracefully, as has been done by the Awami National Party (ANP), rather than fueling emotions on the basis of allegations that are not borne out by evidence.

The election results are also a warning for those who now take over that the people will judge them too on their performance and governance. We hope that all political parties will act responsibly, do as much as they can for the people with the mandate that they have been given and respect others’ mandate too. They must not do anything to derail the system and focus all energies on resolving the numerous challenges facing Pakistan. There will certainly be many opportunities in Pakistan for any political party that proves itself worthy by its deeds.”

Zohra Yusuf