The whistle of judicial Martial Law has been blown. It is evident after press censorship that the media is playing the role of an irresponsible firm that looks no more interested in the affairs of freedom of speech and democracy. In such state of affairs, the implementation of free and fair election is questionable. It would not be an exaggeration to say that this election is already rigged. Provision of equal opportunities to all political stakeholders is one of the underlying principles of free and fair election. Hindrance for any political party, in one way or other, can be termed as pre-election rigging. The continuity of such kind of perpetrations would lead to appointing apolitical stooges to parliament rather than genuine representatives.The blueprint designed to intermeddle in the coming election is an incomprehensible and complex mechanism. At the same time, the incidences being manifested in different parts of state are connected with one another rather than being alienated. All these events though materialized in different provinces of state have commonality in one way or other. In Punjab, the prosecution of cases against PML-N leadership have acquired the engineered results timely. The first-class leadership was sent to Adiala jail, but the story did not end here. The second-class leadership is also persecuted, harassed and disabled to keep them away from contesting election.Intimidation of candidates to change political loyalties followed by preventing others from contesting also comes in the jurisdiction of pre-poll rigging. The popularity of Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) seems to add a question mark. The party has fielded 259 candidates for provincial assembly and over 100 candidates for national assembly. Those with alleged links to proscribed organisations are being mainstreamed.Mainstreaming extremists and extremism to enfeeble the political strength of established political forces would prove to become major problems.Almost 119 candidates are contesting the election with under the ‘jeep’ symbol. This may be mere coincidence, as it has possibility to happen, but still its relationship with other events causes the sceptical minds to think.In Sindh, the arch political force of Sindh i.e. Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) is being attacked by the seasonal alliance of Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA).GDA is an amalgamation of smaller parties looking to contest elections against PPP. The inclusion of smaller political parties and pressure groups into GDA is unequivocally repeating the history of Islami Jamhoori Itehad (IGI) in 1990s.Trapping PPP’s top leadership along with their close circle in the name of accountability is a recipe for an unfair election.The apex court, which is otherwise burdened with cases, seems to have all the time in the world to move against two political parties.This apolitical section of society is the real decisive force that decides the fate of nation. All these kind of pocketed manoeuvrings, taking place in different provinces are connected with one another in reality though ostensibly alienated. When it isn’t even a level playing field, what are we looking forward to on July 26?The imposition of complete blackout in Bilawal’s political campaign in Sindh and obstructing his rallies in Punjab questions the fairness of election. Recently, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s administration has not allowed Bilawal Bhutto to stage rallies because of “security risks”.In Balochistan, the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) is working to secure the lion’s share in votes. The local administrators as usual are helping influence the election by favouring this particular camp.The recent brutal attack in Mastung, killing 149, has dissipated a layer of panic in the whole province. The incident ahead affects political mobilisation of political parties and consequently that of election results too.The attack on Awami National Party (ANP), which resulted in the martyrdom of Haroon Bilour and 22 activists, is another example. In 2013, the situation was the same for the party.And it is not just a campaign against the parties involved. The money being spent in this election is ridiculous.The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has notified a particular amount of two million and four million for Provincial and National Assemblies seats campaigning respectively. But the reality is that this isn’t even a fraction of what some candidates are spending.This apolitical section of society is the real decisive force that decides the fate of nation.All these kind of pocketed manoeuvrings, taking place in different provinces are connected with one another in reality though ostensibly alienated.When it isn’t even a level playing field, what are we looking forward to on July 26?The writer is a freelance contributor and researcherPublished in Daily Times, July 25th 2018.