KARACHI: A day after the dissolution of the Sindh Assembly and cabinet, the provincial chapter of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) on Saturday demanded that the next general elections be held within 90 days, warning off any delay in the crucial democratic process.
The PPP, which had supported the approval of Digital Census in the meeting of the Council of Common Interest (CCI) due to which it is almost impossible for the Election Commission to hold election on time, demanded that fresh delimitation process under the new census be completed within 60 days so that election could be held within the 90-day time frame.
“If the digital census can be completed within a month, why can’t fresh delimitation be held within 60 days,” asked PPP Sindh president Senator Nisar Khuhro.
Speaking at a press conference at Peoples Secretariat along with the party’s provincial secretary general Senator Waqar Mehdi, he said: “There’s no reason to delay the polls and the PPP is very clear about this. The polls must be held within 90 days.”
Khuhro asks ECP to complete delimitation under new census within two months
He said that it was the primary job of the caretaker set-up and the Election Commission of Pakistan and the PPP hoped that they would do their constitutional duty.
Senator Khuhro also ruled out any threat to the party’s traditional mandate in Sindh where its rivals were indicating a larger electoral alliance in the province to “bring change” and form a coalition government after the general elections in their joint efforts against the PPP.
“There’s nothing new as we have been seeing such alliances against the PPP for the past many decades,” he said. “Despite all the efforts of the anti-democratic forces and tactics against the PPP, the people of Sindh have always voted for the PPP.”
He said that the anti-PPP forced never succeeded in defeating the party through ballot and democratic process. “The PPP rule in the province has strengthened democracy and provincial autonomy which has only weakened these anti-democratic forces,” he added.
Senator Mehdi criticised the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) for challenging the “pro-people” decisions of the outgoing PPP government by approaching the Sindh High Court that stopped the recruitment process in BS-1 to BS-15.
“On one hand, the MQM-P cries for jobs for Karachi’s youths and youngsters of other urban areas and on the other, it deprives them of such opportunities for its vested political interests,” he said.
He said that the court order came as a shock for all the unemployed youths across the province.
He said that all the government departments, where a recruitment drive was under way, had invited applications from interested jobseekers through advertisements in the media published in 2021 and 2022.
“With such decisions, you [rival parties] only expose yourself,” said Senator Mehdi. “You can’t expect to win people’s votes after going against their interests. The people of Karachi and Sindh are well aware of their true representatives and whenever they would be asked for any party to choose through votes, they would go for the PPP,” he added.
Published in Dawn, August 13th, 2023