Resolutions and Realities: Between 1940 and 2024

Minority becomes majority

Javed Jabbar at Dawn: In 2024, as in 1940, we, too, have multiple realities; of another kind, but nevertheless present. In February of this year, dozens of independent politicians, who contested for seats in the National Assembly and four Provincial Assemblies with a dizzying variety of election symbols and despite numerous coercive pre-poll impediments, managed to secure more votes than both other leading political parties, as well as smaller but older parties. This unusual feat was achieved despite Pakistan’s anomalous First-Past-The-Post (FPTP) electoral system, which can give a party securing a minority of the total votes cast a majority of seats.

Subject to detailed research: the initial result in February 2024 was surely the first time in global electoral history that individual candidates using separate, unrelated election symbols moved far ahead of long-established major political parties with extensively known common symbols used consistently over multiple general elections. Yet, for reasons mysteriously unexplained, even the belatedly announced official seat counts won by these independent candidates were eventually whittled down. A few cut their links with their sponsoring party to cross the floor. The remaining were denied their quota of seats reserved for women and non-Muslims — a development that threw up some interesting questions regarding representation of the public will.

In 1940, despite the many excesses of colonialism, to the credit of the British, no similar example existed in terms of pre-poll rigging, in-process rigging and post-poll rigging to alter the public’s mandate in ways suited to the rulers of the time. Despite a foreign rulership controlling the levers of the state, no such thing was witnessed in the elections held four years before the Lahore Resolution, in 1935/36, nor six years after, in 1946. One wonders how the Pakistan Movement would have turned out in present circumstances.

More here.

1 thought on “Resolutions and Realities: Between 1940 and 2024

  1. Very well factually analyzed and well written. Don’t know which way country is heading. Today saw another post where high court judges complained about undue pressure of ISI to decide cases according to their will.

Comments are closed.