KARACHI: Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) said early on Friday that they will not accept the postponement of local government elections in Karachi and Hyderabad, vowing to protest the government’s move Sindh.
Local government elections — scheduled for January 15 — were postponed in Karachi, Hyderabad and Dadu just two days before the elections due to reservations by the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), according to the minister Sindh Information Sharjeel Inam Memon. .
In a statement, JI Karachi President Hafiz Naeem-Ur-Rehman said the party will not accept the postponement of the local elections and termed the decision an “ambush” in Karachi and Hyderabad by the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP). and the MQM-P.
The JI chief asked the party members to stick to their marks with unwavering courage as the party’s line of action will be issued this morning. “The Sindh government’s decision is not acceptable under any circumstances.”
Rehman called on his party activists to prepare for a protest today and said, “We will hold a protest, we will go to the Election Commission of Pakistan premises and also to the court. We will not let these people — the MQM-P and the PPP – I’m kicking it.”
He asked party workers to remain in touch with the general public as he was set to announce the party’s next strategy at 10am today.
The JI chief said the party will look at all possible options to get it right through public reaction.
“This [the postponement of the LG elections] is nothing but backstabbing and an overnight ambush. It is a repeat of what has always happened as MQM-P and PPP commit injustices [against the people].”
Rehman described the two parties as “bandits” who deprived the youth of their rights, leaving them without education and other basic amenities of political life. He said parties are scrambling to swallow “even a single glimmer of hope whenever it arises”.
They avoid defeat by postponing elections as they cannot afford to go public, he added.
PTI protests postponement of LG elections
The PTI has also decided to oppose the provincial government’s decision, saying the party will challenge the delay in courts and explore every democratic avenue.
PTI Sindh Chairman and former federal minister Ali Haider Zaidi said the provincial government took the step as it feared their defeat by PTI.
The PTI will give a protest call on Saturday in the wake of the deliberations, he said.
In a statement, Leader of the Opposition in the Sindh Assembly Adil Sheikh said the MQM-P had worked as a pressure group on the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) “subjugation group”. Both parties — MQM and PPP — are two sides of the same coin, he said.
Sheikh disparaged PPP leader Asif Ali Zardari without naming him and said, “Sindh’s biggest ailment and money lover left Karachi after having to lick the dust in Punjab.” He called on Zardari to quit politics admitting moral and political defeat.
The PTI leader claimed that the people of Karachi have identified the “mercenaries and killers” of Muhajirs and Sindhis. Sheikh said that the provincial government took the decision to delay the polls as the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) was quite scared of the impending defeat in Karachi and Hyderabad.
A single person – PTI chairman Imran Khan – has exposed the entire system in front of the masses, he alleged. The PTI leader said that those who talk about democracy are afraid of people’s democratic rights.
He added that the idea of going public irked the two parties — the MQM-P and the PPP. Sheikh said the plan to capture the city through the Prime Minister’s House, Bilawal House and the Governor had “failed”.