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PML-N, PML-F leaders say they don’t have level playing field

Updated July 21, 2018

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PML-N leader Shah Mohammad Shah speaks at his residence on Friday while (right) PML-F leader Sardar Raheem speaks at the press club.—PPI
PML-N leader Shah Mohammad Shah speaks at his residence on Friday while (right) PML-F leader Sardar Raheem speaks at the press club.—PPI

KARACHI: The general elections scheduled for July 25 will not be election but rather selection because except the party of the ‘Ladla’, which enjoys “full freedom of electioneering”, hurdles are being created for other parties by ‘aliens’ in carrying out their election campaign.

However, whatever the circumstances, the situation demanded that no one should boycott the elections.

This was stated by PML-N Sindh chapter president Shah Mohammad Shah while addressing a press conference at his house on Friday.

Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party Sindh chapter president Nazeer Jan, who was present at the PML-N leader’s house, said that not only their party candidate from NA-249 had withdrawn in favour of PML-N president Shahbaz Sharif, who is also a candidate from the same constituency, but also decided to extend full support to all other PML-N candidates in Karachi.

‘Hurdles are being created for other parties by aliens’

Mr Nazeer Jan said “in the larger interest of democracy and sovereignty of people, the situation demands that all political parties unite on one platform”.

Earlier PML-N Sindh chief Shah Mohammad Shah said that July 25 elections were part of the drama being played in the country for the past 70 years.

He said: “Our banners and party flags are being removed and our party candidates are being harassed while the caretaker government has become spectator and the banned parties are being given free hand to run their election campaign by aliens.”

He accused Pemra of not allowing media to cover welcome rally of Nawaz Sharif on his arrival from London.

Replying to a question, Mr Shah said that the PML-N did not approve of the division of Sindh in the name of carving out administrative units and termed the demand tantamount to treason.

PML-N leader Shah Mohammad Shah speaks at his residence on Friday while (right) PML-F leader Sardar Raheem speaks at the press club.—PPI
PML-N leader Shah Mohammad Shah speaks at his residence on Friday while (right) PML-F leader Sardar Raheem speaks at the press club.—PPI

No confidence in Sindh’s caretakers

PML-F leader and information secretary of the Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) Sardar Abdul Ra­heem also addressed a press conference at the Karachi Press Club here on Friday.

The PML-F and GDA leader said that they already had expressed their vote of no-confidence in the Sindh caretaker government as there was no difference in the present government machinery and the former PPP rule.

Similarly, he claimed that the election commission was also not discharging its constitutional responsibilities for conducting free, fair and transparent polls in the province.

Sardar Raheem added that until the government machinery became neutral, holding of transparent and fair elections would be impossible.

He claimed that in present situation all deputy commissioners, SSPs, SHOs and patwaris were same who were appointed during the PPP government and they had close ties with the former PPP ministers and leaders and in their presence, fair and free elections were not possible.

He said the GDA through a letter had drawn attention of the chief election commissioner, chief justice of Pakistan and chief justice of Sindh High Court, provincial election commissioner, chief minister, chief secretary and other authorities towards these issues and also wrote a letter on July 9 to all of them in this connection, but to no avail.

Replying to a question, he claimed he had a list of all such officials of Sindh government who were working for the PPP openly.

Similarly most of the assistant returning officers (AROs) who had been taken from the education department included those facing NAB cases, he claimed.

“We demand that the AROs instead of [being taken] from the education department should be replaced with senior officers of the federal government serving in Sindh with over 10 years of service record.”

The PML-F leader claimed that the PPP planned to rig the election from postal ballots sent to employees of the health department.

He added that the GDA had massive appeal in Sindh and if fair elections were held, the GDA would form the next government in Sindh.

Published in Dawn, July 21st, 2018