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Opposition presents 'charter of demands' to ECP

05 February, 2013

ISLAMABAD: The opposition parties on Monday presented a charter of demands to the Election of Commission of Pakistan, seeking fresh delimitation of constituencies and verification of voter lists in Karachi as well as removal of all provincial governors before the general elections.

Led by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, the opposition parties also staged a sit-in in front of the Parliament House and then marched towards the ECP to present the memorandum to the authorities there. Although a sizeable number of leaders and workers of the opposition parties participated in the sit-in, but intermittent rainfall forced the participants to disperse, with only a few able to reach the ECP with their leaders to present the memorandum.

The memorandum was signed by the PML-N, PML-Like-minded, PML-Functional, Jamaat-e-Islami, Jamaiat Ulema-e-Pakistan, Jamhori Watan Party, Awami Tehreek Sindh, Sunni Tehreek, Sindh United Party, Pakhtoonkhwa Awami Milli Party, Muttahida Qabail Party, National Peoples Party and the JUI-F. It carried the name of Maulana Fazalur Rahman-led JUI-F, however, no leader of the party was seen in the sit-in. "We support these demands, but did not participate in the sit-in and march towards the ECP," Maulana Ataur Rahman, a JUI-F MNA and brother of Maulana Fazalur Rahman told our sources.

The document expressed full and unequivocal confidence in the present ECP, which it noted was constituted unanimously in accordance with the constitution. It, however strongly condemned the "malafide efforts of extra-constitutional and non-political forces to make the ECP controversial with a view to delay forthcoming elections and creating hindrances in proper performance of its duties". Regarding Karachi, it demanded the ECP ensure that fresh delimitations of constituencies is carried out in the city forthwith and in accordance with the directions of the Supreme Court.

It called for door-to-door verification of voter lists in a transparent manner, without political interference and with the support of army. Opposition parties also demanded that all sitting governors should be asked to resign or removed on the formation of caretaker governments in the provinces.

They also submitted a long list of officers who are posted on key positions in the federal and provincial governments and demanded their transfer. The memo urged that leaders of opposition in provincial assemblies of Sindh and Balochistan be appointed without further delay so that they can play their constitutional role in appointment of caretaker chief ministers in these Houses.


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