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Seven opposition parties to join hand against PLM-N

07 September, 2015

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LAHORE: Seven opposition parties, including the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf and the PPP, have decided to cooperate in the forthcoming local government elections in Sindh and Punjab and reach seat-sharing arrangements at the district level.

The parties have authorised their district office-bearers to finalise seat adjustments in order to give a tough fight to the PML-N. The opposition parties at a meeting held here on Sunday expressed resolve to eliminate terrorism, solve farmers’ problems, press for transparent elections and foil attempts to rig the elections. It supported and praised the army for its operation against terrorists.

The meeting was attended by PTI’s Punjab organiser Chaudhry Sarwar, PPP Punjab president Mian Manzoor Wattoo, Jamaat-i-Islami secretary general Liaquat Baloch, Pakistan Awami Tehreek secretary general Nawaz Gundapur, Majlis-i-Wahdatul Muslimeen secretary general Raja Nasir Abbas, PPP’s south Punjab president Makhdoom Ahmad Mahmood and Jamiat Ulema-i-Pakistan secretary general Pir Ijaz Hashmi. The Sunni Ittehad Council was also represented.

Addressing a press conference after the meeting, Chaudhry Sarwar said the opposition parties demanded that the four provincial election commissioners who had been involved in rigging in the last general elections must resign.

He said the parties had agreed to exercise all options, including protests, against the “PML-N’s rigging plans in league with police and other government institutions”. They called for an across the board campaign against corruption, he added.

When asked that the PTI had been criticising the PPP for its ‘alliance’ with the PML-N in “corruption and looting of national wealth and defending each other”, Chaudhry Sarwar said the PTI was ready to work in cooperation with all parties agreeing to solve problems faced by the people and the country.

“Even if the PML-N is willing to remove the provincial election commissioners, PTI will be ready to talk to its leadership,” he said, adding that if the ruling party tried to rig the elections it would face strong resistance.

Manzoor Wattoo said the opposition parties had decided to support the marginalised segments of society, adding that farmers and traders had already taken to the streets. He asked the Punjab government to make public Justice Baqir Najfi’s report on the Model Town tragedy and bring to justice the elements responsible for killing innocent people.

He claimed that the Punjab government was paying Rs20 million to each PML-N candidate contesting the local bodies’ elections which was the worst form of rigging. He called upon the Election Commission of Pakistan to take notice of the matter and disqualify such candidates.

Referring to the Model Town killings, PAT’s Nawaz Gundapur said no diyat could be accepted unless the accused confessed to their crime. “The PAT has neither accepted nor will accept any diyat in the Model Town case.”

Liaquat Baloch said free and fair elections could not be held without electoral reforms and reconstitution of the ECP.

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