Foreign intervention and national resilience

Recently, the US Ambassador to Islamabad has called on the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Mr Sikandar Sultan Raja amid heightened controversy regarding the time frame of forthcoming general polls in the country. Foreign Diplomat visited the CEC just hours before the Electoral Watchdog convened a key meeting to respond to the President’s letter demanding consultation on exact dates for forthcoming polls. Besides the need and request for a meeting from either side, the time frame and circumstances surrounding the meetup raised eyebrows and suspicions of the masses, media and political analysts about the motives of the foreign diplomat. Immediately after the session between Raja and Donald Blome, the US Embassy issued a statement that the American envoy had reaffirmed US support for free and fair elections in accordance with the constitution of the Country. The US Mission vowed to boost ties and expressed readiness to work with the future government who so ever chosen by the people of the country.

The political choas and uncertainty remained at high intensity in the country in recent weeks after the Election Commission laid out its plan for delimitation of the electoral constituencies and announced the holding of the next polls under the current digital census that has pushed the nationwide headcount to February- March next year instead of November, that dictates by the constitution. So far, rumours and agitprop have prevailed everywhere while an outcry for a timely election has cast a gruesome situation in the country. Currently, the CEC is the sole driver of the country’s cruise through the election season while the interim government, bureaucracy and establishment are on call to provide the Election Commission with the crucial help it needs. The entire nation is divided over the poll’s timeframe while political groups are relentlessly demanding a timely completion of the electoral process to avoid further polarization and anarchy.

This is what makes Blome’s diplomacy more drastic and treacherous which deepened the impression/suspicion of the US’s role in Pakistan’s domestic affairs even if that did not exist physically. Through this tactical manoeuvre, the US envoy played the role of sabotier, who successfully trashed the image of the Chief Election Commissioner and sewed the seeds for further distrust, disunity and unrest in the future political landscape in the country. Apparently, refusal to such a controversial meeting was a better strategy for the CEC, however in that case Raja could be deprived of the honour of hosting a powerful Western envoy in his office.

Interestingly, the Frontier Post took the lead in representing the Pakistani nation by raising the issue at the appropriate level with the US Department of State in Washington DC and the US Embassy in Islamabad simultaneously. The Frontier Post’s News hawk categorically asked the US authorities what the State Department or any of its diplomats have to do while visiting the Election Commission office of any country. The State Department Spokesperson eluded the question by quoting his unawareness and echoing yet another call to Pakistan for a free and fair arrangement of election in the country.

In fact, US authorities failed to ensure the credibility of their domestic nationwide election in 2016 as well as in 2020 and blamed their worst enemy for hacking the electoral process twice in US history. However, bashing sovereign nations and meddling in their domestic affairs in the garb of Human Rights, and democracy is an old age and well-proven tact of American diplomats, that always served fringe motives of Western nation instead of supporting democracy in other countries. Although the Pakistani nation struck a unique quandary at this time, however, the masses must resist foreign propaganda and condemn unfriendly interventions while keeping a firm belief in its leadership, institutions and above all the judiciary, which can tie the entire nation into one thread. Hence, political wisdom and national resilience are the only way forward to effectively sail the country through a crucial period of its history.