Tuesday December 05, 2023

Siraj urges ECP to announce poll date

September 26, 2023

ISLAMABAD: Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) emir Sirajul Haq has called upon the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to announce the date for the general elections.

Addressing a press conference on Monday, he said the ECP fell short to fulfil the constitutional requirement of conducting the polls within the stipulated 90 days following the dissolution of the assemblies.

However, Sirajul Haq said that ECP should at least remove ambiguity and announce the precise date for the general elections.

He urged all institutions, particularly the judiciary, military establishment, and ECP itself, to maintain an apolitical stance by refraining from interfering in political matters and allowing the people of Pakistan to exercise their right to elect their representatives in a free and fair manner. He said the transparent conduct of the elections would serve as a genuine test of the ECP’s credibility.

He also urged the Chief Justice of Pakistan to take action against the Independent Power Producers (IPPs) agreements, which he identified as the root cause of exorbitant electricity tariffs.

The JI chief asserted that those responsible for these costly agreements should be held accountable pointing out that both the PPP and PMLN governments had entered into expensive agreements with private companies, placing a heavy burden on the public.

He said the PTI government had also continued these agreements, sharing responsibility with the previous ruling parties.

Sirajul Haq advocated for a reduction in electricity tariffs, emphasizing that caretaker government was not authorized to raise tariffs; rather, its responsibility was to ensure a peaceful environment for free and fair elections. He said the JI’s sit-in in front of the Quetta Governor House reaffirmed the party’s commitment to continue its struggle until the rights of the people were duly addressed.

Sirajul Haq criticized the past five years, which he said had witnessed widespread destruction in every sector. He asserted that the 16-month tenure of the PDM and PPP government had been a continuation of PTI rule. He said those who had initially led rallies against price hikes ultimately exacerbating inflation upon assuming power.

Sirajul Haq called on the caretaker government to shift its focus from sending high bills to consumers towards addressing the billions lost due to line losses and power theft. He also pointed out that the ruling elite benefited from free electricity, resulting in substantial losses to the national treasury, while the burden was unfairly borne by impoverished citizens.