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How members of banned organisations allowed to contest elections: Raza Rabbani

17 July, 2018

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ISLAMABAD: The Upper House of parliament on Monday questioned as to who allowed over 200 candidates of the proscribed organizations to contest the upcoming general elections.

“The interior minister should inform the House that how members of banned organisations were allowed to contest the elections,” former Senate chairman and PPP senior leader Raza Rabbani asked. “How were the names of members of banned outfits removed from the Fourth Schedule,” he further asked, observing that a new phenomenon was emerging on the model of Islami Jamhoori Ittehad (IJI) and the Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal (MMA).

Referring to the Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), Rabbani observed that 150 members of the party that staged a sit-in at Faizabad are now candidates for the National Assembly seats. Members of Allahu Akbar Tehreek are also contesting the July 25 election, he noted. “What will the atmosphere of the parliament be if even 25 of such people are elected?” he questioned.

The Senate also passed a unanimous resolution, strongly condemning the Mastung suicide attack and expressing sympathies with the families of the victims. The resolution was presented by Opposition Leader in Senate Sherry Rehman, which was passed unanimously. The resolution condemned attack on election rally in Mastung, adding that Siraj Raisani was a patriot who always opposed terrorist mindsets. The House expressed concerns over attacks on political leaders and workers and demanded thorough investigation into the Mastung blast.

Earlier, the Senate suspended regular agenda to discuss law and order in the wake of deadly terrorist attack in Mastung.

Speaking on a point of order, Kalsoom Parveen strongly condemned the attack and asked the Senate chairman to suspend regular agenda to discuss the incident. She also called for enhancing compensation amount for the heirs of the terror attack victims.

Leader of Opposition Sherry Rehman supported Kalsoom Parveen and favoured the suspension of routine agenda to discuss law and order in Balochistan. She criticized private television channels for ‘ignoring’ the Mastung tragedy.

Senator Nasibullah Bazai condemned the terror attack and urged the government to provide adequate security to the politicians.

Mir Kabeer Ahmed claimed that about 213 suicide attack victims had been buried so far. Sardar Azam Khan Musakhel claimed that the caretaker government and the Election Commission of Pakistan had failed to provide security to the political leaders.Dr Ashok Kumar criticized the government as well as private TV channels for ignoring Balochistan’s issues.Mian Attique Sheikh said Indian spy agency RAW was active in Balochistan. A workable plan should be devised to counter terrorism and extremism, he demanded.

Raza Rabbani reiterated that his party was not being provided a level-playing field in the upcoming elections. He claimed that PPP candidates and voters were being pressurized to either leave the party or not cast vote in favour of its candidates. He warned that engineered elections would be dangerous for the country as well as the democratic setup.

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