Jamaat-e-Islami Karachi chief Hafiz Naeemur Rehman has opposed the suggestion to hold phase-wise local government elections in the city, and demanded that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) ensure free and fair elections across the metropolis on October 23.
Rehman demanded that the ECP deploy the Pakistan Army and Rangers to ensure transparency, smooth sailing of affairs and maintaining law and order on the day of the election. He also criticised Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader and Minister Saeed Ghani for his remarks in which he allegedly held the people of Karachi responsible for the city’s civic and infrastructure issues.
Rehman said Ghani is “trying to shift responsibility from the government’s corruption and incapability to Karachiites”. He asked Ghani if he believes Karachiites are responsible for skyrocketing street crime, power load-shedding, tanker mafia, acute water shortage, sewerage issues, broken roads and every aspect under the ambit of the government.
He said that after the Karachi police chief, Ghani has accused Karachiites of exaggerating the city’s issues. In fact, he added, this mindset rooted in feudalism wants to gradually capture Karachi and is trying to extend its influence.
He also said the PPP’s Sindh government has heavily politicised the police department. As a result, he added, police officials are more efficient in minting money and coming forward for political face saving of the government, but ineffective when it comes to curbing crimes.
He urged the ECP to bring in contingents of police and Frontier Constabulary from Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa if the Sindh government claims a shortage of police personnel. He also demanded that the Sindh government recruit young Karachiites as police to ensure transparency in the department.
He warned Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah and other party leaders of the public’s backlash if the PPP does not shun its undemocratic behaviour and conspiracies against the LG elections.
Rehman directed JI workers and candidates to gear up for the polls on October 23 and double their efforts in the mass contact campaign of the party. He announced that the JI would hold a women’s convention on New MA Jinnah Road on October 14 in connection with the LG elections. He hoped that it would be a historic women’s convention in Karachi’s history.