KARACHI: The leaders of PPP, MQM and ANP on Wednesday called upon ulema and scholars to issue a fatwa against terrorism and termed the elections as a battle between forces which were for and against the Taliban. They also expressed apprehensions as to whether elections in the current circumstances could be held in a free and transparent manner.

These three parties which are considered progressive have been facing terrorist attacks recently forcing them to restrict their election campaigns. Dozens of political activists from PPP, MQM and ANP have been killed in these attacks.

PPP’s Rehman Malik, MQM’s Farooq Sattar and ANP’s Shahi Syed addressed a news briefing in Karachi on Wednesday.

In an apparent reference to PML-N and PTI, they questioned why some political parties have been given freedom to carry out their election activities while others have become constant target for the extremists. They said a conspiracy was being hatched to ensure that right wing parties come to power in the May 11 elections. They urged the people to support them in the polls and defeat the "nefarious designs of extremists and terrorists".

MQM’s Farooq Sattar said progressive parties were being prevented from actively participating in election campaigns. “The election campaign is being dictated by the Taliban and not the Election Commission,” he asserted.

The leaders of PPP, MQM and ANP welcomed the remarks of General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani that the war against terrorists was Pakistan’s war.