The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) bore the brunt of criticism that came out of the All Parties Conference that was convened by Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) here on Sunday. Participants at the meeting rejected the voters list prepared by Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and alleged that MQM was “engineering” the list to its own advantages. The leaders demanded that the Chief Justice of Supreme Court take suo motu notice of the pre-poll rigging taking place.
The meeting, which took place at JI’s Idara-e-Noor-e-Haq, was attended by representatives of Jamiat-e-Ulema-e-Islam-F (JUI-F), National Peoples Party, JUI-S, Muslim Rabita Council, Mutamir Alam Islami, Awami Muslim League, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, Nizam-e-Mustafa Party, Jamiat-e-Ulema Pakistan. Amir of JI Karachi, Mohammad Hussain Mehanti, presided over the gathering.
Members of the parties alleged that thousands of voters of different political parties were not registered in their residential areas in Karachi, with many of them registered in parts of Balochistan and Punjab.
“The ECP came under the pressure of MQM. All political parties have a right to represent people of Karachi in the assemblies, as the city does not belong to the MQM alone,” said PML-N’s Saleem Zia.
The group also criticised the text message service launched by National Database Registration Authority (NADRA) where people can check their names on the voters list, and said that the charges for using this facility should be brought down.
An announcement, issued after the meeting, called for the present voters list to be made available online, and to be provided to all political parties in the form of CDs. The leaders also told the ECP to use NADRA’s data while preparing the list of eligible voters, which will ensure transparent elections in the country. A delegation comprising members of the political parties in attendance will meet the provincial election commissioner for addressing their reservations.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 19th, 2012.