ISLAMABAD: Rejecting the current mechanism in place for the appointment of the chief election commissioner (CEC), the chief of the opposition party Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) on Sunday said that all political parties represented in the parliament must be involved in the process.
Addressing his first public meeting in Islamabad since his elevation to the party’s top post, Sirajul Haq lashed out at former CEC Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim for his alleged failure to curb rigging in the 2013 elections and said the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) did not fulfil its responsibility.
Haq claimed that most of the people in parliament today would be in Adiala Jail if articles 62 and 63 – dealing with the qualifications of members of parliament – were fully implemented in the country.
He called on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to announce the enforcement of Shariah in the country, saying that his party would fully support him in this.
Former CEC Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim criticised for his alleged failure to curb rigging in 2013 elections
“We will not accept any system other than Shariah,” he said without elaborating and then went on to declare, without context, that the Quaid-i-Azam envisioned a “Madina-like system” for the country.
The JI chief also criticised the Pakistan People’s Party and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, calling them “two sides of the same coin”. He regretted that leaders had not learnt any lesson from history and said his party had only half-heartedly and unwillingly accepted a “helpless prime minister” and “a powerless president”.
Citing the recent meeting on the law and order situation in Karachi, the JI chief said that he was happy to see former president Asif Zardari sitting next to the prime minister, saying it had exposed the nexus between the two. He warned that no- one would be allowed to use Sindh or Punjab cards in future.
“Both of them have the same past and same future,” he said, adding that an alliance of “land mafia, drug mafia, police mafia and democracy mafia” had always ruled the country in the shape of political parties or army generals. He alleged that corruption worth Rs18 billion per month was taking place in the country.
Referring to the recent victory of Narendra Modi of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in India, the JI chief said a “prejudiced government” was about to take control of India. “I want to send a message to Mr Modi, if you want to see India progressing then there is only one way for it; give freedom to the Kashmiris,” Haq said.
He also called upon Modi to ensure the safety of Muslims and their places of worship in India. “I guarantee that the worship places of Hindus, Christians and Sikhs will be protected in Pakistan. And I want you to guarantee that the places of Muslims worship will be safe in India,” Haq said.
Published in Dawn, May 19th, 2014