Punjab LG polls: 7 opposition parties unite to ‘defeat’ PML-N

PPP, PTI, JI, PAT, SIC, JUP and MWM agree on seat adjustment during elections

LAHORE – Seven opposition parties have united against Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) in Punjab and agreed to seat adjustment in the local bodies election.

As per reports, PPP, PTI, JI, PAT, SIC, JUP and MWM have demanded resignations of Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) officials, re-provision of election funds and stern action against those involved in the Model Town incident, ahead of the local government elections in Punjab. The decisions were taken during a meeting held at Mian Manzoor Watto’s residence on Sunday. The opposition parties’ meeting was attended by PTI’s Chaudhry Sawrar, JI’s Liaqat Baloch, PAT’s Nawaz Gandapur, JUP’s Pir Ejaz Hashmi, SIC’s Jawadul Hassan Kazmi and Asad Abbas Naqvi of Wahditul Muslimeen.

While briefing the media after the meeting, Mian Manzoor Ahmed Wattoo said the participants expressed their grave concern over the plight of the farmers who have been devastated by the “anti-farmer” policy of the government. It was decided to express total solidarity with the community and take part in its struggle till the acceptance of their demands. He added that the political leaders also expressed their total support for the demand of the traders, who had been protesting and urging the government to withdraw the withholding tax.Wattoo said the leaders of the parties had urged the members of the ECP to step down because there was no justification for them to stay after the Judicial Commission Report and the recent decisions of the Election Tribunals. He added their continuity would make the local bodies elections controversial that would not bode well for the whole system. He said it was also decided to allow the district level organisations of the respective parties to go for seat adjustment keeping in view the local dynamics of politics.

The meeting’s participants expressed their strong reservations regarding the allocation of development funds recently in each constituency and described it as pre-poll rigging. They urged the ECP to take notice of it. Wattoo added that they were in favour of disqualifying the government’s candidate if he was proved guilty of using the development funds in his constituency. He added that the participants urged the ECP to ensure deployment of neutral teams during the local bodies’ elections “because the administration in Punjab was behaving like the B team of the government”.

“This aspect must be taken care off otherwise the whole electoral process will be in jeopardy,” he added. He said the meeting paid rich tributes to the Pakistan Army that had defended the country in 1965 against Indian aggression and is now engaged in a war against terrorism and extremism and had gained significant successes under the Zarb-e- Azab operation. While responding to media questions Chaudhry Sarwar said there was no moral justification for the members of the ECP to stay as they had become highly controversial.

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