The multi-party conference organised by Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) on Friday rejected elections results and demanded a re-election. A joint protest movement was also announced and the parties that attended the meeting decided that their elected representatives would protest the alleged rigging by not taking the oath. Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif, however, said he would hold consultation with the party’s Central Executive Committee before taking a decision in this regard.It goes without saying that the instances of systematic irregularities in the elections, particularly during the counting process, are serious and need to be probed. In his victory speech, Prime Minister in-waiting Imran Khan expressed his readiness to cooperate in any investigation in to the alleged rigging. Moreover, recounting in several constituencies altered the initial results, which means that the voting process in some cases was not entirely transparent. It is therefore imperative that the issue be addressed by the Election Commission at the earliest.Having said that, the parties unhappy with the election results would do well to realise that under the current situation, Pakistan cannot afford confrontational politics. Politics of sit-ins and protests causes instability, which ultimately serves to hinder progress. Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto demanded the ECP chief to resign over his failure to keep the electoral process transparent, but rightly stopped short of announcing a boycott of the Parliament.Pakistan is set to witness the second-ever transition of power from one democratically-elected government to another. All political forces that have been given a mandate by the public should look at the bigger picture and be part of the next parliamentary set-up. As far as the allegations of unfairness and rigging in the polls is concerned, the aggrieved parties should use the forum of Parliament to voice their concerns once they take oath. Because no one benefits from the politics of boycott.If some political leaders’ notion that ‘invisible forces’ manipulated the election results is to be believed, such a situation makes it all the more important for alternative voices to be in the assembly. Their refusal to enter parliament would leave the field open to their opponents. The path of boycott and street agitation is counterproductive and should end. *Published in Daily Times, July 29th 2018.