KARACHI: The Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) on Monday vowed that it would not back out from a single vote which was cast in its favour in Feb 8 general elections, saying that it would exercise every legal and democratic right to resist the ‘rigged and manipulated results’ and win back each and every constituency where the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) was ‘imposed through fake mandate.’

JI Karachi chief Hafiz Naeem ur Rehman said that the party had made all preparations for ‘a long legal battle’ and that it would not abandon the people of Karachi, a city where it had won mandate through years-long struggle for the rights of the people of the metropolis through its slogan ‘Haq Do Karachi Ko.’

He also announced relinquishing one of the two Sindh Assembly seats the JI had won in the polls, saying that the seat was actually won by a Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf-backed independent candidate.

Hafiz Naeem said that the party would expose anti-democracy and anti-peace elements who were provided cover by the administration to rig the election.

“We don’t want a single vote which is not ours and we won’t give up a single one which was ours,” he said while addressing a press conference at the party’s city headquarters, Idara-i-Noor-i-Haq. “If anyone believes that he would crush the mandate of this city and its people and get away with this crime, he’s mistaken. We would keep exposing them. We would keep raising voice against the injustice,” he added.

He asked the leaders of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and MQM-P to show some respect to the people’s mandate and not sow seed of hatred and divide.

“You are disappointing youth and strengthening their disbelief in democracy and the system. It’s not the matter of mandate of one party or the other, it’s a matter of Pakistan’s future and its democracy,” said Hafiz Naeem.

PTI reaction

The PTI in an immediate reaction lauded the JI leader’s decision to give up the Sindh Assembly seat in favour of its independent candidate, saying that it expected ‘similar honesty’ from other candidates.

“There is no existence of democracy without transparency,” the party posted on social media platform X [formerly Twitter].

Published in Dawn, February 13th, 2024

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