Fazl slams ex-allies for seeking early polls


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MULTAN: JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman on Tuesday lashed out at the PPP and PML-N, both of them his former coalition partners, saying that the two parties had approved the results of the new census in a cabinet meeting and now that new constituencies were being demarcated under it, they wanted immediate elections.

“I don’t understand what kind of politics this is. When the census has been approved, the upcoming polls should be held under it,” he added while addressing a news conference in Multan.

He pointed out that the cabinet of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) – a political alliance he headed – had approved the elections as per the new census results.

“When the elections will be held on the basis of the new census, the constituencies will also be new,” he continued.

The JUI-F chief added that some constituencies would come to end and new ones would be carved out as well.

“The whole electoral schedule will change because of this,” he noted.

The Maulana also opposed conducting the general elections in the month of January, saying that the weather in the northern areas of the country would be extremely cold and voters would face difficulties in reaching polling stations in such harsh conditions.

Earlier while speaking an event, the JUI-F chief maintained that his party had struggled a lot for the rights of the people and clerics had rendered great sacrifices for this cause.

He added that the clerics had played a critical role in the preparation of Pakistan’s Constitution and contributed much to the country’s legislative process.

He said the clerics had played an excellent role in government affairs as well, adding that they partially ran the ministries too.

“After the Million March, the JUI-F is also counted as a major party and now we will increase our parliamentary strength,” he claimed.

Fazl maintained that when his party was ousted from the assemblies through rigging, its activists took to the streets in protest.

Without naming anyone in particular, he said if they “stole” in the parliamentary system, we would protest against them.

“Every day a party or an individual raises the slogan of an ‘ideal’ and the people’s hopes are tied to them without even giving a thought about who is behind them,” he continued.

In response to the JUI-F chief’s news conference, PPP Information Secretary Faisal Karim Kundi said his party had also talked about holding the general elections within 90 days in the cabinet meeting.

He added that the Constitution also required that the general polls be held within 90 days of the dissolution of the assemblies.

Kundi maintained that conducting the elections were the JUI-F chief’s request but it was not necessary that the polls would be held.

He said the Maulana should honestly disclose at what price did his party link the Legal Framework Order (LFO) to the Constitution.

Kundi further claimed that it was PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari’s long march that forced the “puppet”, referring to PTI chief Imran Khan, to leave power and run away.

“On whose signal did the JUI-F chief end his long march?” he raised the question.

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