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November 22, 2020

PSP welcomes PM’s announcement about electoral reforms

Karachi

November 22, 2020

Welcoming Prime Minister Imran Khan’s announcement of electoral reforms, Pak Sarzameen Party Chairman Mustafa Kamal said on Saturday he hoped that this announcement, unlike all previous announcements, would be materialised in the larger interest of the country.

The government and the opposition should stop the tug of war and focus on the people so that democracy could be strengthened, he said while talking to media persons outside the accountability court.

“If the government and the opposition really believe in democracy, they should strengthen democracy by carrying out electoral reforms so that no one can either steal the next election or complain about it. Public confidence can only be restored if electoral reforms are carried out,” he said.

Kamal said that because the Pakistan Peoples Party’s Sindh government was responsible for the devastation from Kashmore to Karachi, the PPP and its chairman, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, had no right to point the accusing finger at the federation. “On the other hand, the federal government should also stop levelling allegations of corruption against Asif Ali Zardari and Nawaz Sharif, and focus on ceasing the uncontrollable flow of corruption in government organisations within its present government,” he said.

An ideal local government system was announced, but the reality was that our so-called democratic rulers became ruthless when it came to transferring powers and resources to the grassroots level, Kamal said.

The so-called democratic rulers had staged a coup d’etat against the first tier of democracy, maligned democracy and curbed the rights and powers of local bodies across the country, he said, adding that 57,000 councillors of Punjab, mostly of the PML-N, had been expelled with a single stroke of a pen, but no one ever raised voice and asked why they had been expelled. “While PMLN chief Nawaz Sharif’s daily rhetoric is why I was ousted. Unfortunately, and ironically, for self-proclaimed democratic champions, it’s all about me rather than we,” he said.

Hopefully, Prime Minister Imran Khan would not take any U-turn at least on local bodies elections, he said.

Kamal said scenes of the ongoing operation against encroachments across Karachi without providing alternatives were not only evidence of the government’s incompetence and indifference but was also extremely worrying.

A day earlier, addressing separate video link meetings with PSP Punjab and Khyber Pukhtunkhwa office-bearers, Kamal had said: “What an irony that those who beat the trumpets of democracy prior to the elections strangled democracy as soon as they came into the government!”

On the one hand, he had said, Prime Minister Imran Khan was making empty promises of a strong local government system to the nation, while the fact was he had deactivated the local governments setup during his two-and-a-half years of government in the Centre, and on the other hand, the “self-proclaimed champions of democracy from the PDM platform” had not even bothered to call for the holding of local government elections even once.

Development work of billions of rupees that was supposed to be done through elected local bodies representatives was being done carried out bureaucracy, not only leading to rampant corruption but also resulting in these bureaucrats not accountable to the public, he had claimed.

“That is why there is chaos in the country, and a significant surge in heinous crime rate. In the absence of community policing and neighbourhood committees administered by local governments, heinous crimes are unprecedented, with innocent children falling victim.

“Heinous crimes cannot be stopped through secretaries of the federal and provincial governments and the present impotent police system, for which only the third tier of the government, i.e. the local government, can handle the situation.”