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Karachi sit-in concludes: Opposition leaders warn more protests

January 28, 2013

Leaders and activists of different political parties protest outside Sindh Election Commission office in Karachi. – PPI Photo (File)

KARACHI: After assurances by the election commission over conducting voters’ verification process under supervision of the army personnel, the opposition parties have ended their three-day sit-in on its last day in Karachi, DawnNews reported.

The leaders of more than 20 political and religious parties informed media representatives that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has assured the voters’ verification process under army’s supervision. However, they announced to continue the protest movement until they are assured on deployment of army personnel at all poling stations of the metropolis on the day of voting.

A large number of political activists attended the sit-in on its third and last day.

Addressing the crowd, Jamaat-i-Islam (JI) Karachi chapter’s chief Mohammad Hussain Mehanti claimed that during last 25 years no free, fair and transparent elections has held in Karachi due to bogus voter lists and poll rigging.

Apparently criticising the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), he said the city has been held hostage by ‘terrorists,’ adding that decisions of the ECP, contradicting with the SC’s orders, sows the grip and influence of the ‘elements’ who are afraid of free and fair polls in the metropolis.

“We have told Chief Election Commissioner Fakhruddin G. Ibrahim that we would not be a part of the upcoming election if the commission fails to follow the verdict of the Supreme Court regarding verification of voter lists in Karachi,” said the JI leader.

Mehanti again demanded free fair and transparent election and “re-verification” of voters’ lists under supervision of army. He also demanded deployment of army personnel at all polling stations on the voting day.

The JI leader informed that the ECP has assured them that from tomorrow army personnel would accompany the vote verification teams.

Hazif Hssain Ahmed of Jamiat Ulema-i-Pakistan (JUP) said that by not following the order of the apex court, the ECP officers were committing contempt of court.

The leaders on the occasion supported the sit-in before the Parliament House as announced by Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and thanked the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) for showing its concern in the matter – DawnNews/PPI