The leader of the Jamhoori Watan Party (JWP) Talal Bugti, has cast doubts over conduct of free and fair elections in the province in the presence of security forces and absence of Bugti IDPs from their respective constituencies.
Expressing his no confidence in the Election Commission of Pakistan, he said that despite the order of Supreme Court, the government has not resettled the displaced Bugti people in their homes at Dera Bugti.
“There are half a million displaced persons of the Bugti tribe,” he said during a press conference held at Bugti House in Quetta on Sunday.
These 0.5 million Bugtis are potential voters, who have been forced to live away from their constituencies and denied the right to cast their ballot, he said.
“Earlier, we had gone to the Supreme Court to enlist the names of the Bugti IDPs in the voters’ lists for the upcoming election,” he said. The Bugti people have been officially relocated to various parts of Pakistan since 2006, and their names were not on the electoral rolls, the JWP chief said.
Talal Bugti said he doubts that the elections would be fair and just. He said that he met with the provincial election commissioner and told him that fair elections were not possible in the presence of security forces. Bugti demanded withdrawal of security forces from Balochistan in the interest of free and fair elections.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 25th, 2013.
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