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January 13, 2015

PTI, JI form alliance for LG elections in KP


January 13, 2015

PESHAWAR: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) here Monday formed an alliance for the local government (LG) elections in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The decision to field joint candidates in the much-delayed local government polls was made in a meeting of leaders of both the parties at the provincial assembly premises.
The parties said their existing coalition was a key to continuing cooperation for the local government polls. “Contesting local government polls separately would have sent a wrong message,” said Speaker Asad Qaiser, who is one of the senior PTI leaders in the province. “Being allies, we couldn’t go to the polls separately,” he stated.
It was the first formal meeting, according to leaders of both the parties, on the issue of alliance where they arrived at the consensus to jointly contest the elections. The nitty-gritty of the alliance, they added, would be discussed in coming meetings.
“Working through the details is a long process that would take a long time,” Inayatullah said. “We’ve asked our respective district chapters to reach a consensus locally in every district and if any problem arises in a district the leaders will solve them,” he explained.
Both sides constituted their respective committees to work on the fundamental issues like seat adjustment or other arrangements.PTI nominated Asad Qaiser, Public Health Engineering Minister Shah Farman, Education Minister Muhammad Atif Khan and its provincial President Azam Khan Swati.
The JI committee included Dr Iqbal Khalil, Mushtaq Ahmad Khan, Asadullah and Bahrullah.“The formula for seat adjustment and cooperation at the local levels were not discussed,” said Atif Khan, the education minister and an important leader of PTI. “The meeting just made the basic decision to make alliance. We are confident the alliance will benefit us,” he said.
Beside Atif Khan, others who represented PTI included Asad Qaiser, provincial Secretary General

Khalid Masood and Shah Farman.JI delegation consisted of provincial chief Prof Muhammad Ibrahim, Inayatullah, Finance Minister Muzaffar Said, Dr Iqbal Khalil, Mushtaq Ahmad Khan and Bahrullah Khan.
Atif Khan said the JI and PTI had unanimity of views on a host of national issues that had naturally brought them closure. “We have a broader understanding on fight against corruption, foreign policy and American interference in Pakistan,” he said.
Prof Ibrahim cited similar reasons for the alliance. Apart from being coalition partners in government, he said the JI and PTI had consensus on combating corruption.Inayatullah said like the PTI the JI too wanted the local government system to be put in place, focus on good governanceandcombatingcorruption. He said they had learned from the bitter experience during Muttahida Majlis-e-Amalgovernment when they went to local government polls separately. “We don’t want to repeat that,” he added. Pakistan People’s Party, Awami National Party and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl formed an alliance in January last year in anticipation of the early conduct of the local government polls.
The PTI had promised in the 2013 election campaign to hold local government polls within three months. But after 20 months in power, it’s still unsure about the time of local government elections.
The provincial government made several commitments about holding the elections, only to break all of them.The local government elections are now expected in May this year, according to Speaker Asad Qaiser. Inayatullah, who holds the portfolio of the local government, hoped to conduct the polls around April and May.The government has been fine-tuning the laws governing the local government elections and its system in preparation for the long-awaited polls.

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