GDA, PTI, JI to start joint drive against ‘rigged’ elections

By our correspondents
February 22, 2024

The Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA), the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and the Jamaat-e-Islami will launch a joint campaign against the “rigged” 2024 general elections, GDA Information Secretary Sardar Abdul Rahim announced on Wednesday.

Grand Democratic Alliance spokesman, Sardar Abdul Rahim (left) stands alongsideGDA chief Sibghatullah Shah Rashdi during the alliance's protest in Hyderabad. — X/ShoaibAkhterAli

Rahim made the announcement following a meeting between GDA Sindh Chief Coordinator Syed Sadruddin Shah Rashdi, PTI Sindh President Haleem Adil Sheikh and JI Karachi Emir Hafiz Naeemur Rehman.

According to a GDA spokesperson, the meeting discussed the current political situation, potential cooperation on the issue of disputed elections, ongoing talks between various political parties for forming government, and the role of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

A statement issued by the GDA said that the government and the ECP are in a state of panic due to the ongoing movement against “rigging” in the February 8 polls.

The statement also mentioned the possibility of a sudden announcement for the oath-taking session of the newly elected MPAs of the Sindh Assembly. The statement announced that the GDA, the PTI and the JI would hold province-wide protests on the day of the oath-taking ceremony.

However, the statement pointed out, the final decision regarding the specific course of action would be announced after further deliberation at their February 23 meeting.

Separately, a PTI delegation led by Sheikh visited the JI Karachi headquarters, Idara Noor-e-Haq, where the two parties discussed future strategy for their joint struggle. The PTI and the JI decided to launch a fresh joint struggle against poll “rigging” and the “change” in the results of the elections.

They also constituted a committee comprising members from both parties. The JI’s Raja Arif Sultan and Qazi Sadaruddin, and the PTI’s Raja Azhar and Mubashir Hassan have been nominated for the committee.

Speaking on the occasion, Rehman said Karachiites had voted for the PTI and the JI, while the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) had been totally rejected, as it could not get more than 5,000 votes in any constituency.

He said the JI rejects the “bogus” results of the elections based on the “bogus” Form 47s, while the party demands that the results be declared in accordance with the Form 45s.

He also said that a “tasteless drama” was staged in the name of elections in Karachi, and that the JI would continue their struggle against the “snatching” of the mandate until its logical conclusion.

Sheikh thanked the JI over giving them a warm welcome, and expressed complete support for the JI’s viewpoint on the “theft” of the mandate and the “rigging” of the elections. He said that Rehman’s bold decision to relinquish the provincial assembly seat is not only a slap in the face of the ECP but it has also increased his grace and that of his party.

He also said the MQM has been imposed on Karachiites in an unpleasant manner, and it is a joke in the name of democracy. JI leaders Osama Razi, Munim Zafar Khan, Saifuddin Advocate and Sadaruddin also attended the meeting.