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Opposition sit-in at EC offices begins

KARACHI, Jan 26: A three-day sit-in by some opposition parties in protest over the absence of army personnel in the ongoing door-to-door exercise to verify electoral rolls in Karachi began on Saturday outside the offices of the provincial election commission.

Leaders and workers of the Jamaat-i-Islami, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-F and others gathered on Shahrah-i-Iraq, where the offices of the provincial EC are located, to stage their protest sit-in against what they described as non-implementation of the apex court’s directive to use the army in the voter lists verification drive.

The Khyber Pukhtunkhwa chief of the JI, Siraj-ul-Haq, who came here to participate in the sit-in, said on the occasion that the protesting leaders wanted implementation on the apex court judgment in letter and in spirit, as the verdict had raised hopes of free, fair and transparent elections.

He said that if chief election commissioner Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim wanted to hold free and fair election, army personnel should be deployed for verification of voters lists otherwise in Karachi otherwise it would not be election but selection that could not be allowed.

He said that the CEC had a clean record but if the elections in Karachi were not held in a transparent manner then his name would also be tainted.