PPP, JI agree to continue delegation level talks

52

JI hopeful PPP will address its reservations regarding polls

A delegation of the Pakistan People’s Party visited the Idara Noor-e-Haq to meet leaders of the Jamaat-e-Islami on Thursday and both parties agreed to continue the delegation level talks. However, the alliance will be discussed after the results of the local government elections.

In the first phase, adjustment will be discussed at the town level.

Talking to the media after the meeting, Provincial Minister Saeed Ghani said that the PPP will try to remove reservations of the JI. “We want to go along with the Jamaat-e-Islami,” he added. He said that the PPP will not create any hurdle in the decision made by the ECP about some union councils.

Karachi JI ameer Hafiz Naeem said that the issues are arising due to the recount. “The Sindh government and the ECP can resolve these issues. JI has emerged a big political force in the local bodies elections. We should accept the mandate of other parties,” he added.

Hafiz Naeem said that he was hopeful the PPP, the ruling party in Sindh, would address the former’s reservations about the local government elections.

The meeting came days after the JI chief levelled serious allegation of rigging against the PPP, which led Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah to contact him over the phone and assure him that legitimate concerns regarding the polls would be addressed. At the outset of the press conference, Rehman said that recounting of votes was underway in some places, due to which problems were arising.

“We have forwarded our complaints regarding what happened on the day of the polls to the election commission. In some places, the presiding officer along with the ballot box were picked up.”

He said that the main issue the party had was with obtaining the Form 11 and 12 and the subsequent “changing of the results”.

“We contacted the election commission and also the PPP to resolve this matter.” He noted that the ECP would hear the party’s reservations regarding some UCs on January 23.

“But UCs which are facing recounting issues […] recounting is a legal process but if illegal moves are made during a legal process, then it makes the whole exercise fake which has happened in this case.”

He further said that the party had informed the Sindh government and the PPP of its reservations regarding the LG polls. “I hope that Saeed Ghani bhai and his whole team will look at the issue and things will be resolved. We will wait and if things improve then there will be more talks.”

For his part, Ghani congratulated the JI for securing a “good number” of seats during the LG polls. He said that the PPP had contacted the party in an effort to hear their reservations and complaints.

“We have been saying for the past few days, since the results started coming in, that we want PPP and JI to work together in the city’s local bodies. “This is a good opportunity for this city, the people and the local bodies that two mature political parties work together to improve the situation.”

He accepted that the JI had “grievances and complaints” regarding the LG polls. “As you know, when elections take place, the entire exercise comes under the election commission and its laws.