The problem here, of course, is that one might be misinterpreting him. Maybe, just maybe, Ayaz Amir is being sarcastic in his column in Dunya. But one can’t really give him that benefit of the doubt, given the views he espouses on the television talk shows that he appears on.
While using the Agriculture Department gag, he bemoans how it hasn’t done a good enough job of managing the elections!
We are stuck with the same corrupt faces, he says, while the agriculture department could certainly have brought in fresh new faces and clean people.
A popular method of rigging elections has been the pre-poll variety. Either doling out huge sums to the favourite party a la the IJI in 1990, or poaching away a large number of a party’s candidates towards the King’s Party a la 2002 and, of course, 2018. Polling day rigging is messy, specially with the proliferation of cell-phone cameras and the media.
But our man from Chakwal doesn’t buy that. No, polling day rigging should have been the way to go. He throws in the Stalin quote about how those counting the votes matter more than the votes themselves. Why not just use special Kakul Counting and get specially selected clean people in?
There’s no reason to suggest that the Agriculture Department doesn’t see this as an either-or approach. Maybe it will do its bit as well as do what Ayaz Amir is suggesting. The presence of military personnel inside the polling station has gotten people talking.
In any case, it has been interesting seeing Ayaz Amir’s fall from one of the most respected columnists in the country to kooky crazy uncle territory. It all started with not getting the election ticket from the League in ‘13 and it’s been all downhill since then.
As the satirical publication of Pakistan Today, The Dependent, said in its headline: “Ayaz Amir admitted to hospital as ticket-nahi-mila-itis reaches its terminal stage.”