PESHAWAR: Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman has claimed that the opposition parties will give the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf a big surprise in the upcoming Senate elections and secure the maximum seats.
“The opposition will give a big surprise and the PDM candidates will succeed in the Senate polls,” he told reporters here on Thursday.
Mr Fazl said the PDM’s steering committee met to develop consensus on the distribution of tickets and support each other’s candidates in the Senate elections.
He said the PDM would field joint candidates in the Senate polls.
The JUI-F chief, who is also the chairman of the 10-party alliance, said there was a possibility of converting the PDM into an electoral alliance for the next general elections.
He said the opposition parties, including JUI-F, didn’t accept the results of the by-elections in NA-45 (Kurram-I) and NA-75 (Daska) and demanded the Election Commission of Pakistan hold re-polling in both constituencies.
Mr Fazl said the by-poll results had been manipulated in Kurram and Daska areas and the Election Commission should take a realistic stand on it.
The JUI-F chief said members of the ECP staff were either too helpless to stop election rigging in those two constituencies or involved in it and therefore, the JUI-F didn’t accept the results.
He said the ECP had unearthed fraud and found 600 bogus applications for postal ballots in NA-45 but despite that, it allowed the ruling PTI’s candidate to contest the election.
Mr Fazl said the PTI nominee was declared winner in the by-election and the JUI-F had already approached the commission against him.
PTI candidate Fakhar Zaman won by-polls in Kurram, while JUI-F nominee Malik Jamil Chamkani was declared the runner-up.
The ECP has received around 600 applications for postal ballots from the police department for the NA-45 by-election. The inquiry found them all to be bogus with two applicants being dead, five abroad, several terminated and retired officials, and some, who quit voluntarily.
During the random checking of these applications, it was found that all applications had been forwarded by the deputy superintendent of police having a single return address of superintendent of police (investigation), Sadda.
Replying to question about the Supreme Court hearing into the presidential reference, Mr Fazl argued that parliament’s role began only if the Constitution was silent on any matter.
He said the judiciary could only interpret an article of the Constitution, so the apex court shouldn’t become party to the presidential reference.
When asked about the statement of PDM candidate Yusuf Raza Gilani about the neutrality of security establishment in the Senate elections, the JUI-F chief cautiously said: “If a candidate (Yusuf Raza Gilani) says that he has no evidence of the interference of the establishment, then we should not criticise any institution for no reason.”
Published in Dawn, February 26th, 2021