HYDERABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) parliamentary leader in Sindh Assembly Haleem Adil Sheikh reiterated the accusation that the Sindh Cabinet has been influencing the deferred by-polls of NA-205 in Ghotki district. At a press conference in Ghotki on Friday, Sheikh also alleged that provincial minister, Abdul Bari Pitafi, who was the elected MPA from Ghotki, is amassing weapons to unleash riots on polling day.
The by-election, being contested one-on-one by Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) Muhammad Bux Mahar and PTI-supported independent candidate, Ahmed Ali Mahar, was rescheduled from July 18 to July 23 by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).
“We have received information that armed men from the Lyari gang wars are being sent to Ghotki to orchestrate riots,” the PTI leader claimed. “The PPP is pitching communities and families against each other.”
He recalled that during PPP’s July 13 rally from Sukkur to Ghotki, the party’s Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah flanked the PPP candidate on their truck, terming it a disgrace to democracy.
He went on to blame the police for being partisan in support of the PPP candidate and warned that such police officers would face disciplinary action. Sheikh said that even the employees of Sindh government were being used to manipulate the by-polls and appealed to the ECP to take oath from all polling agents declaring that they are not government servants.
He specifically blamed the Ghotki deputy commissioner for trying to rig the election. “An independent candidate from Ghotki is confronted by the whole Sindh government in the polls.”
Sheikh deplored that after creating rifts among influential political families like the Chandios of Kambar Shahdadkot district and the Arbabs of Tharparkar district, the PPP is breaking up the Mahar family. “As the political tradition in Sindh goes, if an assembly member dies than no other party fields a candidate for that constituency. But [PPP Co-Chairperson Asif Ali] Zardari has broken these traditions of Sindh.”
MPA Shaheryar Khan Mahar appealed to civil and military administration to ensure law and order in Ghotki during the election. “The PPP wants to create law and order problem through outsiders in Ghotki.” He also blamed the PPP for fomenting rifts in the Mahar family.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 20th, 2019.