Boycott of Elections?
Electoral boycott is usually effective when most of the political parties, who have effective street power, follow it. Otherwise, it can potentially isolate the the boycotter with the mobalization that is carried out for elections, which is the last thing that we will like to have in this country. That being said, there are good points on the side of pushing a boycott at the present moment. A boycott of elections, if followed popularly, can create a very difficult situation for the present regime which will get totally isolated from the people and major political parties. This isolation expressed politically can result in the death knell for the rule of Pervez Musharraf. The democratic movement will progress to another level where people will start seeking for an alternative with independence of judiciary and rule of law for the Federation. The Parties in parliament will loose all legitimacy and the line between forces in the struggle will be clearly defined.
However, this is big HOWEVER, what if things don’t turn out the way we want them to? While our principles are as solid as iron, our tactics must be fluid and flexible like water. While our “Plan A” is to boycott elections with full force and convince political organizations to do that too, we must also have a “Plan B” for the not-so-desirable situation, if we don’t want to land in wilderness. The essence of “Plan B” is simply to recognize elections as a tool for promotion of lawyers movement and for bringing to light the undesirable elements in our polity. The Plan B is to understand that we must try to exhaust all instruments that we have at our disposal. This is what I want to point here. Aitzaz Ahsan, in his letter to legal community, has provided some very good suggestion for the Plan B. These tactics can help us steer the people of our nation through some essential political experience, which is a great teacher.