Monday August 15, 2022

Tainted polls to harm Pakistan: Shahbaz

July 16, 2018

QUETTA: The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shahbaz Sharif warned on Sunday that if free and fair elections were not held, the country will face irreparable loss.

Talking to media in Quetta, Shahbaz said the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan should refrain from doing politics at the time the country is reeling from the Mastung tragedy.

He said that the entire nation is in mourning and the PTI chairman ‘should be ashamed for making allegations’ at a wretched time.

“All the political parties are facing difficulties in election campaign, except for one, which has been given permission to continue with the campaign,” he said.

The PML-N president said that if the elections procedure was made controversial then irreparable loss would be faced. He said solution to every problem lies in fair and transparent elections. - Agencies

Tahir Khan Azikhel and Muhammad Jalil add from Batkhela: The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said on Sunday that some parties were being stopped from elections, warning that the Parliament would be controversial if free, fair and transparent elections were not ensured.

He was speaking at a press conference at the residence of PPP provincial President Humayun Khan. Former Senator Farhatullah Babar, former Member Provincial Assembly Mohammad Ali Shah Bacha, District Nazim Syed Ahmad Ali Shah and others were present on the occasion.

Condemning the fresh wave of acts of terrorism, Bilawal said that the PPP would run its election campaign with full force as it was the party’s constitutional right. He complained that the PPP was not being allowed to freely run its election campaign all over the country.

The PPP chairman said the terrorists wanted to strike fear into the hearts of the people, but they would not succeed in their nefarious designs. He said the terrorists were staging the attacks to affect the democratic process and the people’s independence. Bilawal said the PPP wanted the election to take place on its schedule, hoping the polls would be held on time. However, he said other political parties and the PPP too had complained that a particular political entity was being supported.

“We have submitted our complaints and we will debate this issue in the Senate,” he said.

He said the PPP had the ability to generate a debate in the Parliament to fight terrorism. He pointed out that his party has been demanding the implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP) in letter and spirit to stamp out militancy.

Bilawal said the PPP government had made a plan to launch economic activities in the militancy-hit areas. He argued that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was also part of the plan, but the previous government didn’t implement it in the last five years. He said that Malakand and erstwhile Fata should have been given attention in terms of development projects.

The PPP leader said that the National Finance Commission (NFC) Award should have been extended to the provinces under the 18th Constitutional Amendment. He said the PPP wrote to the federal government after the merger of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to exempt the Malakand Division from taxes for five years.

Bilawal said that former president of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari gave identity to the Pakhtuns by renaming the province as Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. He said the PPP leadership always worked for economic stability. “Zulfikar Ali Bhutto established the foundation of economic justice while Benazir Bhutto’s political struggle was also directed towards that goal,” he recalled.

Bilawal said though he didn’t doubt the intention of the Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP), the judiciary was not supposed to raise funds and build dams.

“Thousands of people are running from pillar to post to seek justice just like me waiting for the dispensation of justice in the cases of my mother Shaheed Benazir Bhutto and grandfather Zulfikar Ali Bhutto,” he maintained. “We should focus on the issues facing the people,” he remarked.