Pre-Poll Rigging In Karachi before Election 2013, JI concerns

Karachi: A 6-member delegation of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) led by its Karachi Chief Muhammad Hussain Mahenti on Friday met with the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC), Fakhruddin G Ibrahim at provincial election commission office. The JI delegation comprised General Secretary Karachi Naseem Siddiqui, Naib Ameers Nasrullah Shajih, Raja Arif Sultan, Information Secretary Zahid Askari and Muhammad Sabir. Provincial Election Commission SM Tariq Iqbal Qadri was also present on the occasion.

During the meeting, JI delegation expressed its deep concerns and reservations over pre-poll rigging before elections. On the occasion, JI delegation reiterated its demand to declare the entire city ‘sensitive’ and deploy army personnel in and outside all polling stations.

In the meeting, JI Karachi Chief Muhammad Hussain Mahenti apprised the CEC that JI candidates are not able to run their election campaign freely, as the terrorists affiliated with a particular party have ragged the banners and posters of JI, kidnapping their workers and also threatened them. He said that the entire election process in city is being held hostage in the hands of MQM.

On the occasion, Mahenti demanded of the CEC to appoint neutral and independent staff at all polling stations and allow the JI candidates to run their election campaigns freely. He further reiterated his party demand to handover Karachi to army during elections, as 17 parties have already put forward the said demand in All Parties Conference (APC), called by caretaker Chief Minister Sindh Justice (Retd) Zahid Qurban Alvi. Mahenti felt that the caretaker government does not take the demand of 17 parties serious, as not action in this regard has been taken yet.

On the occasion, CEC assured the JI delegation that the Election Commission will take every step to ensure holding of transparent and fair elections. After the meeting, Mahenti while talking to media said that the JI delegation emphasized on holding fair and free elections.

Speaking on the occasion, JI Karachi Chief said that the CEC should fulfill his constitutional obligation in order to hold transparent elections adding notice should be taken in connection with irregularities and violations before polls.

He said that the officials in lower grades from City District Government and Karachi Water and Sewerage Board are being appointed as polling staff having political affiliation adding an entire polling staff in NA-245 had been changed on April 29 and MQM workers have been appointed for duty as polling staff.

“Most of polling stations in the city have been changed and transfer into the small buildings situated near to the sector offices of MQM”, he alleged.