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July 11, 2018

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PPP concerned over formation of another ‘IJI’

LAHORE: Fearing formation of another IJI (Islami Jamhoori Ittehdad), Pakistan People’s Party Central Executive Committee (CEC) on Tuesday voiced serious concerns over pre-poll rigging by the establishment against it.

However, sources said the PPP CEC had decided not to change its stance towards the PML-N, one of the signatories to the 2006 Charter of Democracy (CoD), and expressed the resolve to plead its case strongly in courts and the election arena. The PPP leadership, on the occasion, also advised Zardari not to appear before the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).

The PPP CEC met at Bilawal House, Lahore with party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and PPP-Parliamentarians head Asif Ali Zardari in the chair. It demanded immediate removal of Najaf Mirza, the head of the FIA Joint Investigation Team probing money-laundering scam in Sindh, as he had allegedly been involved in torturing Zardari in the past while former president was in captivity.

The PPP leaders including Secretary General Syed Nayyar Hussain Bokhari, Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan, Senator Sherry Rehman, Farhatullah Babar, Syed Khursheed Shah, Syed Qaim Ali Shah, Syed Murad Ali Shah, Qamar Zaman Kaira, Rehman Malik, Maula Bakhsh Chandio and others.

The PPP leadership also expressed serious doubts about the FIA report, submitted to the Supreme Court. They told the media that a brother of FIA Director General Bashir Memon was contesting election against a PPP candidate in Matiari city in Sindh as a candidate of the Grand Democratic Alliance.

Asif Zardari also took his party leaders into confidence over the recent development regarding placing of his and his sister Faryal Talpur’s names on the Exit Control List (ECL). The PPP leadership also expressed reservations over the discriminatory treatment being meted out to them in a money-laundering case that had been in place since 2014. But action over it had been initiated at a time when the party was going into polls.

The CEC meeting said the PML-N had been a favoured party of the establishment compared with the PPP. Since the beginning of the Panama case, name of Nawaz Sharif had not been placed on the ECL and he and all other accused in the case had freely been going abroad, the meting added.

The PPP CEC termed the participation of hardliners and banned outfits in the general election reformation of a new IJI, an alliance of nine likeminded right-wing groups, formed against the PPP by the establishment in 1988.

The PPP leadership was also told about the pressure being exerted on its candidates in the districts of Badin and Dera Ismail Khan.

Later, talking to the media outside Bilawal House, Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan said that without any proofs, Asif Ali Zardari’s name had been put on the ECL, though Nawaz’s name was still not placed on the ECL despite being disqualified by the court.

Farhatullah Babar, PPP-P central leader, on said on the occasion that pre-poll rigging was under way against the PPP. He told the media that some officials had been active against the PPP in Badin and DI Khan.

Besides, he said a specific party was being favoured while banned outfits were taking part in elections. He also demanded action against elements involved in pre-poll rigging and stated that efforts were being made to weaken the Parliament.

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