Former allies step up rhetoric as JUI-F calls PPP’s demand for timely polls ‘excuse’ to avoid elections

Published October 4, 2023
The combo photo shows JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman and PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari. — Via DawnNewsTV/PPP
The combo photo shows JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman and PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari. — Via DawnNewsTV/PPP

The Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI-F) on Wednesday stepped up the rhetoric and called out former ally PPP for its narrative of timely polls, saying that the party’s demand was actually “an excuse to run away from elections”.

The statement, issued by JUI-F spokesperson Aslam Ghauri, comes two days after PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari criticised the former for endorsing a delay in polls.

After publicly criticising the PML-N multiple times over the past few weeks for allegedly accepting a delay in general elections beyond three months, Bilawal had taken exception to a statement issued by JUI-F chief Mau­lana Fazlur Rehman, wherein he had questioned the possibility of elections in the winter season.

In an address in Karachi on Monday, the former foreign minister had said: “One [PML-N] says that fresh delimitation is crucial for the next elections and the other [JUI-F] questions the possibility of polls in January and February due to harsh winter. The people of Pakistan now should know and identify all those who are running away from elections.”

“Let me be very clear, we won’t sit by idly. We will keep raising our voice for timely elections,” the PPP chief had added.

In response to Bilawal today, the JUI-F spokesperson said the PPP “should bring forth its real agenda and cease targeting its coalition partners”.

“Why this haste? May Allah bless Bilawal with long life; eventually, he will become the prime minister,” he stated, claiming that the PPP was able to secure a seat from Larkana in the 2018 elections due to a “level playing field”.

“Supported the census because saw a potential advantage in it,” the statement said.

It added that the “ruckus” over early polls was “actually an excuse to escape from elections”.

“This irritability over demanding a level playing field and raising concerns over weather conditions is astonishing,” the JUI-F spokesperson said.

He added that the JUI-F had begun its election campaign and advised the PPP to do the same to prevent any complaints in the future regarding insufficient time.

These political skirmishes come as the country has entered the pre-election mode.

Earlier this month, the Election Commission of Pakistan announced that general elections would be held in January next year but did not provide a date. In the run-up to polls, political parties have begun preparation for their electoral campaigns.

In a crucial development leading up to the elections, the ECP released a preliminary report last week outlining the delimitation of constituencies based on the 2023 digital census.

PPP only solution to country’s crises: Sharjeel

Separately, in a media talk in Peshawar earlier in the day, PPP leader Sharjeel Inam Memon said his party was the only solution to Pakistan’s crises.

“Pakistan needs PPP … Pakistan needs Bilawal sahab,” he said.

Memon claimed that, unlike other political parties, the PPP did not have a selfish agenda and genuinely wanted to work for the well-being of the public. In this regard, he recalled development projects initiated during his party’s tenure and lauded Bilawal’s performance as the foreign minister.

The PPP leader further demanded that elections should immediately be held in the country.

“The public should be given the right to use their mandate and elect a political party which should then steer the country out of crises,” he added.

Opinion

Editorial

Energy inflation
Updated 23 May, 2024

Energy inflation

The widening gap between the haves and have-nots is already tearing apart Pakistan’s social fabric.
Culture of violence
23 May, 2024

Culture of violence

WHILE political differences are part of the democratic process, there can be no justification for such disagreements...
Flooding threats
23 May, 2024

Flooding threats

WITH temperatures in GB and KP forecasted to be four to six degrees higher than normal this week, the threat of...
Bulldozed bill
Updated 22 May, 2024

Bulldozed bill

Where once the party was championing the people and their voices, it is now devising new means to silence them.
Out of the abyss
22 May, 2024

Out of the abyss

ENFORCED disappearances remain a persistent blight on fundamental human rights in the country. Recent exchanges...
Holding Israel accountable
22 May, 2024

Holding Israel accountable

ALTHOUGH the International Criminal Court’s prosecutor wants arrest warrants to be issued for Israel’s prime...