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JI showing childish stubbornness on mayorship, says Sharjeel

By Our Correspondent
January 19, 2023

It is the constitutional, legal, and moral right of the Pakistan Peoples Party to get its nominee elected as the next mayor of Karachi because it has secured the most number of seats in the recent local government polls.

Sindh Information and Transport Minister Sharjeel Memon said this at a press conference on Wednesday. He said the PPP had expressed its willingness to hold talks with the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) on the next local government setup in Karachi. “We will contact the Jamaat-e-Islami leadership when it will show willingness in this regard,” he added.

Memon told the media that earlier in the day, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah had talked to JI Karachi chief Hafiz Naeemur Rehman on phone, and assured him that the poll-related reservations of the JI would be resolved.

He said the Sindh CM had also advised the JI Karachi chief to contact the Election Commission of Pakistan about the objections of his party related to the conduct of the elections in the city. He said no one should express surprise that the PPP had emerged as the largest party after the local government elections in Karachi because it had secured victory after serving well the residents of the city.

He asked what services the JI had performed in Karachi in the past 15 years. He recalled that the JI had successively faced defeats in Karachi in the past general elections in 2008, 2013, and 2018.

Memon said the JI had been showing childish stubbornness on the issue of the Karachi mayorship. He added that the JI had lavishly spent money to run its election campaign on social and conventional media and it should be held accountable for such a massive expenditure.

“Whoever will be elected as the next mayor of Karachi, the Sindh government will lend full support to him for serving the city. We want the problems of the people of the city get resolved so that they again start believing in politics and politicians,” he said.

Memon was of the view that the people of Sindh had rejected the latest narrative of former prime minister Imran Khan against Pakistan and its institutions. “The process of the PTI’s defeat has begun from Sindh and this trend will be widened to the rest of the country under the leadership of Bilawal Bhutto Zardari,” he asserted.

Sindh Labour Minister Saeed Ghani, who is also the Karachi PPP president, also addressed a press conference on Wednesday. He said that a split mandate had emerged as a result of the local government elections in Karachi as people of the city had voted in favour of both the PPP and JI to end politics based on terrorism and hatred.

He reiterated that the PPP was willing to hold serious talks with the JI on the issue of the split mandate of the city. Ghani said that a mere appearance on television was not sufficient and if the JI wanted to secure the position of Karachi’s mayor, the two parties should hold a serious discussion on this issue.

“We consider the Jamaat-e-Islami a serious and wise political party as both the PPP and Jamaat faced terrorism, lawlessness, and politics of hatred and we don’t want that the situation in the city gets worsened again on the pretext of certain issues related to the split mandate of Karachi,” he said.

The labour minister said the PPP had secured victories in the latest local government elections in such areas of Karachi which were traditionally considered its strongholds. “But the Jamaat-e-Islami has emerged successful from such areas of the city where earlier it had no elected MPA but even then we have honoured their mandate,” said Ghani.

To a question, he said it was their desire that the next mayor of Karachi should belong to the PPP. Meanwhile PPP Sindh President Nisar Khuhro has said that although he considered the Karachi JI chief a serious politician but his statement that the PPP was incapable of winning in Karachi even after a century reflected undemocratic thinking.

Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, Khuhro advised the JI not to follow in the footsteps of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan and avoid using provocative language in the best interests of Karachi.

He said the PPP was willing to hold talks with the JI but the latter should also accept the mandate of the PPP in the city in view of the fact that it had secured the maximum number of seats in the latest local government in Karachi.