Friday, January 13, 2023
Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) leader Hafiz Naeem-Ur-Rehman Thursday slammed the newly-united Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan's (MQM-P) announcement to stop the local bodies (LB) elections — scheduled for January 15 — and requested the army and federal government to take notice.
JI Karachi Amir Rehman, in a press conference held at Idara Noor-e-Haq, berated the Karachi-based party for issuing what he called “open threats”.
Rehman also questioned who was provoking the MQM-P to challenge state institutions and said it seemed that there were certain factions that were trying to act against the spirit of the army’s gesture to remain “apolitical” by refusing to deploy static troops at polling booths in Hyderabad and Karachi.
"The denial to deploy the army and Rangers by the interior ministry in response to the Election Commission of Pakistan's (ECP) letter was an open violation of the law and the Constitution’s Article 220 as it will pave the way to set free the rigging mafia," he said.
Rehman also claimed that the JI had also written letters to Chief of Army Staff General Asim Munir, the Karachi corps commander and the Sindh Rangers director-general with regards to the matter.
Referring to the MQM-P's track record in the city, Rehman said, "High-level army officials had previously termed the action against the MQM as action against terrorism, and action was taken against the MQM under the National Action Plan as well".
The JI Karachi chief was furious at the MQM-P’s threats to prevent the Sunday LB elections and asked: “Who are you [MQM-P] to claim that you will not allow the elections to take place. The time when the MQM-P was able to capture the entire city on gunpoint has passed”.
Instead, he challenged the MQM-P to “face Karachiites” by participating in the elections.
The JI leader alleged that the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and the MQM-P were conspiring to put off the elections and that the Sindh government was actively aiding these endeavours.
Rehman demanded that the ECP, the government and state institutions take notice of the threats against a constitutional and legal process.
He also declared that any notification or ordinance against the law to further delay the local government polls would be resisted with “full force”.
Rehman also accused the various factions of the MQM-P to be conspiring against the citizens of Karachi and trying collectively to deprive them of their due constitutional and democratic rights by “open threats” and “a conspiracy to ruin the law and order in the city once again”.
Reiterating his demand to ensure free and fair local bodies elections on January 15, the JI leader claimed that the party would continue its struggle for the rights of Karachiites, and said that according to a public opinion survey, the port city’s residents had already rejected both PPP and MQM-P.
He also slammed the MQM-P, asserting that it was a “fascist party” which compromised on the well-being of the citizens of Karachi for “petty benefits and perks”.