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JI asks ECP to announce ‘just decision’ at Feb 7 hearing

By Our Correspondent
February 04, 2023

Karachi Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) chief Hafiz Naeemur Rehman has made it clear that the JI will not tolerate “an ambush on its mandate” and asked the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) not to bow before any pressure from any quarter as the JI is asking for justice, not for any undue favour.

He expressed these views while addressing a press conference at Idara Noor-e-Haq, the JI headquarters in Karachi, on Friday. Explaining the party’s future course of action, Rehman also warned that any tampering with the coming census would also bring consequences for the perpetrators.

He said the ECP played a commendable role for holding the election, but in the prevailing scenario, its role had become questionable due to the delay in resolving the issue of serious rigging in the local government polls in Karachi.

He asked the ECP to announce a just decision at the next hearing to be held on February 7. The matter before the ECP was not just about the results of a few union councils but a matter of Karachi’s future and the mandate of the mega city’s number one party.

Rehman said the Karachiites had mandated the JI and the party would safeguard its mandate. He said delay tactics being adopted by the Pakistan Peoples Party to take advantage of the situation would be foiled. He said the JI secured more votes than the PPP, both in terms of successful seats and popular votes, in the January 15 local government elections in Karachi. He said no one would be allowed to hijack the mandate of the JI.

Initially, the ECP had taken up six union councils over reports of anomalies, he said, adding that now the matter of 12 UCs had been placed before the ECP. As many as six out of the 12 cases are just open and shut cases as the returning officers and the district returning officers had tampered with the votes in order to convert the JI’s victory into a defeat, he said. As a result, he said, the results announced were in contrast to the Form 11 signed by the respective presiding officers.

The JI leader also demanded of the ECP to decide the cases immediately and announce a schedule for local government polls in the union councils where elections were deferred due to the demise of candidates.

He said that only half of Karachi’s population was counted in the last census initiated by the PML-N government, whereas the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf andthe MQM notified the fake results. Highlighting reports about the plans to influence the process in order to obtain results as per the will and ease of the PPP, he said that any attempt to undermine the population of Karachi would not be tolerated. He said that the JI would constitute committees on the level of neighborhoods to monitor the process of the census.