National Seminar in Islamabad on the issue of elections

Peoples Democracy Institute, Shaheed Bhutto Foundation organized a seminar on "Democracy and Elections" on February 3, 2007 at Marriott Islamabad. The booklet published by PDI on "How Elections Are Rigged In Pakistan?" was also launched on the occasion.

Mr. IA Rehman, Chairman of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan was the chief guest. The guest speakers included, Maj. Gen (R) Naseer Ullah Khan Babar, Mian Raza Rabbani, Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan, Mr. Jehangir Badar, Ms. Sherry Rehman, Syeda Abida Hussain, Sardar Lashkari Raisani, Senator Farhatullah Babar and Dr. Kamal.

The speakers threatened to bring Ukraine style "Orange Revolution" in the country if the government does not desist from pre poll rigging. The "Orange Revolution" was a series of protests and political events that took place in Ukraine from November 2004 to January 2005 in the aftermath of the runoff presidential election marked by corruption, voters' intimidation and electoral fraud. They alleged that pre poll rigging had started ever since Gen. Musharaf began campaign for the ruling PML. They however, vowed not to leave the field open and pledged to mobilize people in this regard.

The speakers ruled out the possibility of free and fair elections in the country in the presence of even foreign observers. They made it clear that the way to Islamabad does not pass through Washington but through Lyari, Mochi Gate, Qissa Khawani Bazar and Quetta. They said that rigging has only one purpose and that is to deprive the genuine people out of the real power and unless the 17th Amendment in the Constitution is done away with, the rigging would continue to haunt the future of Pakistan.