JI demands deployment of army, Rangers at polling stations

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Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Karachi chief Engr Hafiz Naeemur Rehman has demanded of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to ensure deployment of the army and Rangers personnel at polling stations during the upcoming local government elections to be held on January 15 in order to ensure transparency and smooth flow of business.

The JI leader made the demand at a press conference held at Idara Noor-e-Haq — the JI Karachi headquarters, here on Monday. JI leaders Osama Razi, Munem Zaffar, Raja Arif Sultan, Abdul Razzak Khan, Saifuddin Advocate, Sohaib Ahmed and others flanked Naeemur Rehman at the presser.

Elaborating his viewpoint, the JI leader highlighted that the Pakistan People Party during the first phase of the local government elections in Sindh got over 1000 candidates elected unopposed with the help of the governmental machinery. He continued that the bias attitude of returning officers (ROs) and district returning officers (DROs) depict the ill intentions of the PPP for the January 15 elections. In this backdrop, he said, the deployment of the army and Rangers personnel at polling stations will be critical to maintain smooth flow of affairs and transparency on the polling day.

Engr Naeemur Rehman said that he has already sent a letter to Chief Election Commissioner of Pakistan Sikandar Sultan Raja, demanding the commission to deploy the army and Rangers personnel at polling stations on the same grounds.

He further said that the massive turnout of people in the Karachi Declaration Convention held on Sunday showed that Karachiites want to elect the JI’s mayor for the city on January 15.

The JI leader said that the ECP and the chief election commissioner have the powers to summon the army and or any other institution for their assistance under the Article 220 of the Constitution of Pakistan.

As a matter of fact, the JI leader continued, all the polling stations in Karachi are sensitive as the history was evident that polling results were changed forcefully with the help of all ill practices, including bogus balloting.