PML Sit-in, Aspirations and Demands to Ensure a Fair Election In View of Humayun Akhtar Khan

Overview

PML observed a sit in at the capital today. The party claimed to hold it, as an expression of their confidence in the election commission. Salient propositions of this rally were:

  •  To protest against political entities aiming to de-track the election process, by showing distrust in the election commission.
  •  To demand the involvement of army for electoral duties in Karachi, in persuance of Supreme Court orders.
  •  To demand reshuffle of senior bureaucracy, who can influence the electoral process.
  •  To request Leader of opposition nomination, in Sindh and Baluchistan.

Previously a similar rally was assembled in Islamabad by Tehreek e Minhaj ul Quran but there is a difference in the message given by both groups. Minhaj ul Quran demanded dissolution of the election commission whereas PML have supported the commission.

What is your personal view about the election commission, do you have confidence in the appointees?

When Tehreek e Minhaj ul Quaran rallied against the election commission, all the political entities were showing complete confidence in the commission. Appointment of the commission is a result of the 18th, 19th and 20th amendments. The performance of this commission is being questioned, whereas a proper way should have been for the parties with reservations on the commission, to take proof of misconduct in the bi-elections to either the commission or court. It seems inappropriate to accuse without legal process immediately after losing an election.

We are insisting only because we mean well for the future of the country. The assertion is on the notion that it is going to waste more time and resources by trying to dislodge the election commission. Everything has to be dealt with, according to the constitution. Legally there are three instances when the commission dissolves, either if the members resign or a member passes away or if their tenure expires. Since none of these scenarios exist, we suggest we move on with the appointed commission instead of opting for delaying tactics.

Would you compare this with the sit-in by Maulana Tahir ul Qadri?

It is completely irrational to compare the two. Firstly Minhaj ul Quarn had very strong financial support for their effort. It was a planned congregation, which was properly advertized on television, and it moved about the country with surgical precision. PML’s congregation was a simple act of unity and was suggestive of ways to facilitate free and fair elections. It started with a few of our opposition members from Sindh who voiced their reservations regarding Supreme Court’s decision of voter verification and delimitation. Chaudhry Nisar invited them to present their problems to the comission and assured that PML members from the parliament would come out to join them as an act of support.

A few local party workers also gathered along with members from the parliament and showed unity with the cause of opposition members from Sindh. This is all it was about. Media has given it unnecessary hype.

We want action to be taken according to 62 and 63 but that should also happen according to the constitution. It is un-benefitting for the country to use this, as an excuse to delay the elections.

Presently we cannot change the President, this office can only be removed through impeachment. My request here is to concentrate on proper selection of a caretaker government. At the moment Sindh has no opposition leader, if without the consent of an opposition leader a caretaker government is formed, it will not be admissible as people would not agree.

Source: Kashif Abbasi, “Off the Record – ARY News – 04 February 2013″

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