SHIKARPUR: The Sindh Uni­ted Party announced on Thursday it would support Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl candidate Maulana Nasir Mehmood Soomro in the by-election for PS-11 (Shikarpur) scheduled for Oct 20.

Leaders of SUP and JUI-F said at a joint press conference at a local hotel here on Thursday that the PPP had failed to redress people’s grievances and resolve their outstanding problems despite having been in rule for more than eight years.

They said the ruling party candidates were now misleading voters to gain their sympathies in by-election for national and provincial assembly seats across the province.

SUP leader Agha Qamar Mushwani who, accompanied by party members and friends, assured JUI-F candidate of support and rejected objections made by PPP candidate and his supporters that the JUI-F candidate was an outsider as he was a resident of Larkana.

He said that it was an attempt to misguide voters and gain their sympathies as the present PPP candidate had also contested election for provincial assembly seat from Gambat and Kashmore districts after he was defeated in Shikarpur. He said that Shikarpur which was once called Paris of Sindh had been ignored by all elected representatives and they had not showed any interest in resolving the city’s problems, including illegal encroachments, poor sanitation and drainage systems, health, education, law and order and roads.

JUI-F candidate Nasir Mehmood Soomro thanked SUP leader and his colleagues for their support and assured them that he would try his best to get all outstanding problems being faced by town residents resolved.

He alleged that Punjab was not willing to hold population census and demanded early completion of census under the supervision of Pakistan Army.

He said that they would not accept monopoly of any province nor compromise over principles at any cost. Like his father, he said, he would continue struggle for the restoration of democratic values in the larger interests for the people of Sindh.

He claimed that he was contacted by some close aides of his rival PPP’s Imtiaz Ahmed Shaikh who offered him to accept Rs50 million in return for withdrawal from the electoral contest.

But he spurned the offer because he, his family and party had never compromised over principles to gain political or personal benefits, he said, adding he would produce solid proofs of the offer.

PPP’s Imtiaz Ahmed Shaikh who had recently joined the party rejected JUI-F leader’s claim and denied giving an offer of Rs50m to him. He said the allegation had been fabricated by his rival to create confusion in the minds of voters.

Published in Dawn, September 30th, 2016

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