KARACHI: The Jamaat-i-Islami on Tuesday asked the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) to accept its mandate in the local government elections instead of taking a ‘self-destructive route’ only to install a “jiyala mayor through undemocratic means”.

Speaking at a press conference, JI Karachi chief Hafiz Naeem ur Rehman condened the recent statement of Foreign Minister and PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari in which he asked the provincial government to challenge in court the election schedule announced by the Election Commission of Pakistan for polling on remaining union committees. He declared that his party would chase the PPP on all judicial and democratic forums in order to safeguard votes cast in its favour.

Hafiz Naeem asked Mr Bhutto-Zardari to follow democratic norms of politics and accept his party’s mandate in Karachi. He said that the PPP chairman needed to ponder over the results of the polls instead of depending on misleading reports by party ranks.

He reminded the PPP chairman that it was the PPP that had been delaying the local government polls for over two years. He that the PPP claimed to be a democratic party, but it never held the local government polls on time.

Hafiz Naeem asks Bilawal to accept party’s majority in Karachi

He said that the people in Karachi had already rejected the PPP and the party would lose its already ‘very slim’ credibility if the leadership did not show a rational approach.

The JI leader said that the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf had already announced that it would not join hands with the PPP, but the ruling party leaders claimed that they were in touch with the PTI’s newly-elected chairmen for the elections of the city mayor. “It simply means that the PPP has set price for buying conscience of UC chairmen — belonging to the PTI — in order to secure the office of the city mayor.”

He condemned the PPP over what he described as “naked expression of undemocratic, unconstitutional and fascist tactics”.

Published in Dawn, March 22nd, 2023

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