KARACHI, Feb 10: The Jamaat-i-Islami led opposition parties on Sunday in an ‘awami march’ from the Mazar-i-Quaid to Tibet Centre, against not implementing the Supreme Court’s decision about voter list verification.

The parties included the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), Jamiat-i-Ulema Pakistan (JUP), Sunni Tehreek (ST), Awami Muslim League (AML) and Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam Fazlur Rehman (JUI-F).

A large of people took part in the rally, holding party flags and chanting slogans against the government for not enforcing the orders of the apex court regarding voter list verification, and incidents of targeted killings and extortion.

Speaking on the occasion, Karachi JI chief Muhammad Hussain Mehanti said the city which used to be one of the fastest growing cities before 1984 had gradually slipped into lawlessnes since the emergence of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement in 1984.

He said if the MQM had a real mandate of the people, as its party leaders claimed, then why it had not restored peace to the city despite being in the government for so long. The last year alone, he said, 2,300 people were killed in targeted attacks while around 5,000 had died in violence in the past five years.

“We do not accept electoral rolls which were verified while MQM workers accompanied staffers of the election commission (EC),” said Mr Mehanti, reiterating the resolve of opposition parties to continue their struggle for preparing voters’ lists in a transparent manner. The delimitation verdict of the SC was also not being implemented since the MQM was conspiring against delimitation, he added.

Syed Hafeezuddin of the PTI said the leadership of his party, with other opposition parties, wanted to rid the city of the ‘fake mandate’. He said this was only possible if the people exercised their right to vote and sent their true representatives to the assemblies.

Saleem Zia of the PML-N said that 180 million people living in Pakistan had united against the present government and its allies and were asking the Chief Election Commissioner to make sure that the approaching elections were free and fair.

JUP’s Shah Owais Noorani said that all parties were unanimous about condemning incidents of targeted killing and extortion in the city. He said that the party whose slogan was ‘Roti, kapra aur makaan’ (food, clothes and shelter) had made sure during its tenure that the people were deprived of  these things.

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