Changing perceptions in public domain

Videos create a sensation

Videos have appeared showing alleged PML-N and PPP functionaries distributing money to some of the voters after getting a promise on the Quran that they would vote for their respective candidates days before NA  133 polls.  Interestingly all the characters in the video ascribed to PML-N are masked or, in the case of women, hiding their faces with the traditional chaddar. What is more there are PMLN flags and pictures of party leaders in every nook and corner thus overdoing to implicate the party. This is not the case however with videos ascribed to PPP.  Both parties deny they had authorized anyone to do the dirty job.

The videos have initiated a war of words between the PMLN and PPP. The PML-N’s candidate maintains that the   video showing money being distributed to seek votes for him is fake and is part of a campaign to malign him as he had won the 2018 elections with about 90,000 votes while the PPP candidate had got only a little over 5,0000 votes. According to PPP’s candidate Aslam Gill the PML-N had psychologically lost the election, adding that buying votes was an old tactic of the PML-N.

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There are other voices also in both the PPP and PMLN.  PPP Punjab’s Secretary Information Shahzad Cheema has noted that such videos doing the rounds on social media are a “ploy” to ruin the election. A PMLN leader has held the PTI responsible for both the videos to create further differences between the two opposition parties and simultaneously to divert public attention from the audio ascribed to CJ (rtd) Saqib Nisar. While the PPP and PMLN are involved in a blame game, the PTI is happy. PTI Minister Farrukh Habib wonders what is the value of these elections

Buying and selling votes is a crime.  It aims at depriving the voter of free choice in voting. The practice cannot be allowed if the elections are to be fair and free. Whether the videos are genuine and made at the party leaderships’ direction is for the ECP to determine. The ECP has rightly directed the authorities to conduct forensic analyses of the  video clips and arrest the persons who can be seen in the videos distributing cash.

Editorial
The Editorial Department of Pakistan Today can be contacted at: [email protected]

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