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Martial law threat subsides as mid-term polls loom: Siraj

22 October, 2014

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LAHORE: Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) chief Sirajul Haq said on Tuesday that the danger of martial law had subsided but mid-term elections could be held.

He said the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) had shown their willingness to resume the dialogue and discussion was going on all issues except the prime minister's resignation.

Talking to journalists after leading the funeral of Shabab-e-Milli's former district president Haji Tahir in Islamabad, he said that a deadlock persisted on the issue of the prime minister's resignation.

JI Deputy Chief Mian Muhammad Aslam and Rawalpindi JI chief Shamsur Rahman Swati were also present.The JI chief said that the threat of martial law had been averted yet the option of elections before time was there. However, he said, elections under the present Election Commission and sans electoral reforms would be a futile exercise. He said that electoral reforms were essential for making the elections transparent and acceptable to the people.

Siraj said that the eyes of the nation were still on the sit-ins while the people staging the Dharnas were not prepared to leave Islamabad unless the prime minister stepped down. He noted that even in the recent rallies of the PTI and PAT, the demand for the prime minister's resignation had been voiced.

The main reason for the deadlock was that both these parties were not ready to withdraw this demand. He said that things were moving towards the mid-term elections but he did not expect any improvement even after such polls unless the present electoral system was transformed.

He said the people's faith in the electoral system had been badly shaken and the main reason was the absence of accountability within the two main political parties. He said that unless and until the political parties expelled the corrupt elements and the plunderers from their ranks, and issued tickets again to those again who were responsible for the present crisis, the elections won't produce any results.

The JI chief said that if the political parties fielded candidates fulfilling the conditions under articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution, there was no reason why the masses' confidence in the elections could not be restored.

End.

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