Jamaat-e-Islami boycotts vote in Karachi, alleges rigging

By AFP
Published: May 11, 2013

"MQM workers are openly displaying arms and torturing people" PHOTO: AFP/FILE

KARACHI: A major Islamist party on Saturday announced it would boycott Pakistan’s elections in the country’s financial hub Karachi and another city, accusing a rival party of rigging and violence.

Jammat-e-Islami (JI) is thought to be the third largest party in the city after the secular Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), which were coalition partners in the outgoing government.

“These are false elections, armed workers of the MQM are terrorising people and rigging the elections,” Muhammad Hussain Mehanti, a JI party leader announced at a press conference.

“MQM workers are openly displaying arms and torturing people, they are harassing people, how it is possible to conduct fair and free elections in such an atmosphere?” Mehnati said.

Cricket star Imran Khan’s Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) also accused the MQM of major rigging in the city.

JI withdrew all of its 29 candidates who were contesting for national and provincial seats, as well as withdrawing from the city of Hyderabad in Sindh. The party did not take part in the last elections in 2008.

Responding to the boycott, Haider Abbas Rizvi, a senior MQM leader, said: “By boycotting the elections, (JI) deprived the people of Karachi and Hyderabad of democratically defeating it through ballot.”

The election commission also raised concerns about threats to its staff in the port city, which it says has prevented them from performing their duties.

“In other instances, attempts have been made to hijack the vehicles transporting voting material from the returning officers to the polling stations. This has caused serious delays in polling,” it said in a statement.

The independent Free and Fair Election Network tweeted from its account that three of its observers had been beaten up by MQM workers in a district of Karachi.

Arif Alvi, a senior PTI leader, also charged that “extensive rigging” had taken place, claiming that thousands of its supporters had been prevented from voting.

JI also complained of a delayed start in voting in many parts of Karachi, which last year saw record violence linked to ethnic and political tensions.

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Reader Comments (19)

  • Shah
    May 11, 2013 - 4:15PM

    You know what? JI is getting better at crying. JI should understand that they can only win against MQM if MQM boycotts the polls. There is no other way. Remember that and stop acting like babies.

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  • Shah
    May 11, 2013 - 4:17PM

    @ET

    What does the photo have to do with this story? The guys seem to be from PML-N (Check the sticker on the shirt)

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  • Ch. Allah Daad
    May 11, 2013 - 4:44PM

    Boycott means, terrorist friends have failed to disrupt polling.

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  • Vaqas
    May 11, 2013 - 4:58PM

    JI is the second largest party of Karachi.
    They won 5/20 seats in Karachi in 2002 and in the absence of MQM they managed to win the City Nazim seat in Karachi against PPP.

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  • Shah
    May 11, 2013 - 5:10PM

    @Vaqas:
    It was nit JI in 2002, it was MMA of which JI was a part. JI has to attach itself to a host of other parties to gain anything,Recommend

  • lol
    May 11, 2013 - 5:16PM

    ET only publishing pro MQM comments. wow ET is so scared of namloom afraad

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  • zaheer
    May 11, 2013 - 5:31PM

    guys… the guy has PMLN emblem on his Kameez…..

    Theek hai… MQM karti ho gee…. Mager yeh to had ho gayeeeeee

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  • ZEE KHAN
    May 11, 2013 - 5:33PM

    E T how u know that the picture u posted on are the M Q M workers . Stop this false reporting . I was out with my family and voted at N A 252 around 8. 40 AM These are the flowing mismanagement i found.

    1) The Election staff is not well trained .

    2) No proper election material was supplied in time .

    3) Side camp of J I was almost empty hardly there were 5 to 6 people waiting .

    4) In the MQM camp Lines of voters waiting to find out the right booth .

    J I has the habit of crying like a small BABY nothing new. when ji wakes up early morning the breakfast Mano is U S A .then comes religious MQM PPP ANP and the rest . So please avoid giving this type of Negative news ET. Thanks

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  • sa
    May 11, 2013 - 5:41PM

    Better to allege rigging rather than accept defeat. JI is living in delusions. They had lost Karachi the day MQM swept elections in 1988.

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  • ali
    May 11, 2013 - 5:56PM

    i don’t see any display of weapons in the picture. it’s easy to blame just the MQM whereas everyone is doing the same in karachi.

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  • M@ni
    May 11, 2013 - 6:01PM

    JI has done the right thing.!

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  • khan
    May 11, 2013 - 6:43PM

    The social media is crying over karachi being taken hostage by “namaloom afraad”, what do you expect JI to do in this situation.

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  • Mother
    May 11, 2013 - 6:56PM

    Looks like the voters are rejecting Islamist politics…Is that too hard for the JI and its Taliban friends to digest?

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  • subeditor
    May 11, 2013 - 7:56PM

    Dear ET subeditor, please sub your stories before u post them directly froa sgecies like AFP. Watch ur language. ‘Islamist’ is too,politically loaded a term for a naive subeditor to understand.Tthe Pakistani media does not use this trtm. The international media does. Please givedie tors aworkshop in editing ET

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  • sam
    May 11, 2013 - 11:36PM

    So easy to cry “RIGGING” when there is a strong risk of losing; just to keep face! We are tired of politics of hate and repetitive meaningless slogans. time to unify our country and religion, not break it into segments.

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  • sam
    May 12, 2013 - 12:49AM

    If the so called defenders of our faith do not condemn ‘suicides’, terrorists, acid throwing, crimes against women, hypocrisy and hate, but instead encourage divisions in our religions and do not stand up for minorities then they need to be very clear about what and how exactly they plan to implement religion.!

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  • Suwaid Ahmed Khan
    May 12, 2013 - 2:23AM

    @Shah:
    Anyone claiming that JI is shedding crocodile tears and there was no rigging in Karachi, must have closed his eyes to the social media, television, and the rest of Express Tribune. Hats off to Express Tribune as they clearly named MQM in many articles relating to rigging, and did not use na maloom afraad http://tribune.com.pk/story/547617/na-247-karachi-being-rigged-by-mqm-witnesses/

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  • SHB
    May 12, 2013 - 2:49AM

    This is typical of Jamaat Islami. For five yrs they will keep on demonstrating for the election to be held. Whe elections are held , they boycott the election on some excuse. This is their history.

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  • sam
    May 12, 2013 - 1:22PM

    Great that the silent majority showed that they also needed to be seen and counted in the country. For too long have the peace loving citizens been cowed down by militant groups professing to represent the majority. Pakistan Zindabad!!!!

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