Political engineering now worse than ever.

ISLAMABAD -- As the country approaches the January general elections, concerns about political engineering are mounting with PTI leaders' scripted interviews, their post-release re-arrests, almost one-sided media trials and a TV ban on mentioning deposed premier Imran Khan's name as they all contribute to growing doubts over the fairness of the upcoming polls.

Although the 'powerful circles' have routinely asserted themselves in the country over the years, political experts have not just sounded the alarms on the current wave of manipulation but declared that the political engineering today was proving to be worse and more insidious than before.

They believe that the contemporary political manipulation is casting a long shadow over the fairness of the electoral process.

'Let no one pretend that there is no political engineering today,' said former PPP senator Farhatullah Babar. 'In some respects, political engineering today is worse than it was in the past,' he added.

The veteran politician, who seeks to uphold human rights and wants across-the-board accountability, observed that political engineering was condemnable in the past, in the present and in the future.

When asked to elaborate further, Babar told The Express Tribune that the temptation to speak further on the issue was great, but for the time being it should be enough to say that political engineering was taking place.

'Stage-managed TV interviews of PTI renegades under duress, not producing them before the courts, multiple re-arrests and one-sided media trials all point towards it,' Babar maintained.

The former senator continued that what Imran and the PTI did in the past was wrong and condemnable but what is being carried out now no better either. 'Two wrongs don't make a right,' he continued.

Eminent scholar Professor Dr Hassan Askari seconded Babar, saying that there was way more political engineering now than in the past.

In fact, the professor emeritus of political science went on to say that it was happening with a consistent pattern and the situation was worse than what happened during military dictator Gen Ziaul Haq's era.

'Political engineering is taking place right now and the same old game is being played in a modern context,'...

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