Musharraf reuniting turncoats: PML-N

Published August 19, 2002

ISLAMABAD, Aug 18: Pakistan Muslim League (N) Chief Coordinator Ahsan Iqbal, for the first time, criticised on Sunday Jamaat-i-islami chief Qazi Hussain Ahmed, without naming him, for holding ‘hours long’ meeting with President Gen Pervez Musharraf.

In a statement, PML leader said the people were well aware of those leaders who “speak tirelessly against Gen Musharraf and his policies when amongst them (people) but readily go and hold hours long meetings with him whenever a ‘whistle’ is blown from the president house.”

He said the PML, under the instructions from Mian Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif would be contesting elections from every constituency to bring sincere and capable party workers forward.

This, he said, was all the more necessary to enforce revolutionary reforms after coming into power for establishing a system based on social justice.

He said the October polls would be contested on issues of moral character and loyalty. He alleged that President Musharraf had relaunched the factory of ‘lotas’ (turncoats) where the turncoats from both the big parties were being brought together. But, he claimed, they would lose even their securities in the elections as the people abhor disloyalty and ‘lotaism.’

Iqbal said the procedure of ticket allotment to party candidates as announced by the Election Commission would become a procedure to deter the alternate candidate from getting the ticket allotment.

Under the new procedure, the candidates would be required to submit their party tickets along with the nomination forms whereas under the old procedure the political party was required to issue its ticket after admission of the nomination papers of a candidate. Accordingly, the candidate was required to get his party’s election symbol after submitting the party ticket with the returning officers.

He demanded that the EC should immediately restore the old procedure of tickets allotment, otherwise, it would be deemed “as a way of pre-poll rigging.”

Iqbal said the people were very keenly viewing the role of political leaders and they were well aware of those who delivered speeches against Musharraf but whenever whistle blew they did not hesitate to hold hours long meeting with him.

He said the coming polls would, in fact, be a referendum against Gen Musharraf’s policies.

The economic policies of Musharraf, he alleged, had turned Pakistan into a village of poverty where the poor were forced to commit suicide and the youth were playing in the hands of terrorists due to gruelling unemployment.

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