TTP urge voters to stay away from polls

Published: April 8, 2013
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“We have started a campaign to convince tribesmen that the current democratic system clashes with Shariah and we do not accept it,” TTP spokesperson Ehsanullah Ehsan. PHOTO: AFP

“We have started a campaign to convince tribesmen that the current democratic system clashes with Shariah and we do not accept it,” TTP spokesperson Ehsanullah Ehsan. PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistani Taliban announced on Monday that while they will not forcibly stop people in the tribal areas from going to polling stations on May 11, but urged them to boycott a process which they claim “clashes with Shariah”.

“The people in tribal regions have stood behind us and they have rejected this system,” Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan spokesperson Eshanullah Ehsan told The Express Tribune by phone when asked if the Taliban would stop the people from participating in elections in the tribal regions.

“We have started a campaign to convince tribesmen that the current democratic system clashes with Shariah and we do not accept it.”

Ehsan claimed the TTP has succeeded, to a degree, in convincing the people to agree with the Taliban’s notion about the political system. “Tribesmen do not accept this system,” he claimed.

“We have revolted and do not accept this Westernised democracy as it is against our religion.”

The TTP have previously spoken against the elections. Last month they warned people to stay away from the rallies of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Awami National Party (ANP), and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), saying rallies of these parties are on their hit list.

In late December, a bomb planted outside a small political meeting in Peshawar killed senior ANP leader and member of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa assembly Bashir Ahmed Bilour.

The Interior Ministry in a recent report said that the TTP, its affiliated banned Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and Jundullah have planned attacks in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, the tribal regions and Balochistan during the election process.

Politicians wary of threat to polls

Political parties have been allowed for the first time in Pakistan’s history to field candidates from the autonomous tribal areas following the extension of political act to Fata. However, representatives of eleven major political and religious parties last month indicated that political agents, the security establishment and militants are all responsible for restricting their ability to operate freely in tribal regions.

The leaders in a 40-point joint declaration pointed out obstacles in electioneering despite extension of political parties act to Fata.

“FATA political party leaders highlighted that parties are currently not able to operate freely in many agencies and frontier regions, due to the law and order situation as well as obstacles put in place by the State, including intelligence agencies, political agents, the army, some FATA elite, as well as national and international terrorist groups,” a joint statement said.

The statement was endorsed by 11 political parties – represented on the FATA Committee including the Awami National Party (ANP), Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam F (JUI-F), Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), National Party (NP), Pashtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP), Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan Muslim League Quaid-e-Azam (PML), Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Qaumi Watan Party (QWP).

“All of these elements are working against the political participation of FATA citizens and restrict political parties from visiting their voters. The tribal leaders also stated that intelligence agencies regularly intimidate them and their political workers and prevent movement in their areas,” leaders of the parties said in a joint declaration.

The parties complained that the 2011 Political Parties Order extension and Frontier Crimes Regulation amendments are not being implemented properly by the political administration and the security establishment and recommended that implementation should be monitored and enforced by the government.

The declaration called for free and open access to political parties and also necessary security to travel to and operate in FATA.

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Reader Comments (35)

  • Chunky Lafanga
    Apr 8, 2013 - 8:00PM

    Democracy goes against Islam? Who knew…

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  • Ahmad
    Apr 8, 2013 - 8:01PM

    All these Talibans do is hold guns and threaten this and threaten that. They need to hold books instead of guns, they need to get jobs than to sit around and think of this or that. They need to open their minds and broaden their narrow scope on life.

    They need to excel in civilization and not in destruction. They need to be better people than thugs who think they know Islam better than all the rest. They are not the torch bearers of Islam………………and how can they be……………..when all they have are guns and are illiterate.

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  • Tanzeel
    Apr 8, 2013 - 8:14PM

    Basically what they are trying to say is, either vote for PTI and JI, or stay away from polls.

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  • Raj - USA
    Apr 8, 2013 - 8:44PM

    @Ahmad:
    Your comments on the talibans are truthful and thoughtful.

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  • umar
    Apr 8, 2013 - 8:53PM

    I live in Denmark and I’m a muslim I know democracy better then everyone. And I’m agreed shariah law is clashing with Democracy. They don’t have anything on common. But Tell me TTP if you are following Islam does islam say kill humen, children, others in your sect, old, women? No islam is the best religion on earth and to kill one person is the same as killing whole humanity.

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  • Kashif Siddiqui
    Apr 8, 2013 - 9:03PM

    Killing and terrorizing innocent people goes against Sharia. Suicide attacks goes against Sharia. Bombing civilian installations goes against Sharia. Accepting funds from enemies and using it to kill goes against Sharia. Calling others Kaafirs goes against Sharia. Being guided by the enemy and coming up with a fake Muslim sounding organization name and then pretending to speak on behalf of Muslims and intentionally giving Islam a bad name and turning people away from Islam goes against Sharia.

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  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Apr 8, 2013 - 9:05PM

    Dismal performance of their friends and supporters in election campaign has forced them to make this announcement.

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  • Ghani
    Apr 8, 2013 - 9:07PM

    Taliban may be illiterate as pointed out in one of the comments. The problem, however, is that they have many ‘literate’ sympathizers in our country who think the same way and say the same thing: Democratic system is against Shariah.

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  • Nadir
    Apr 8, 2013 - 9:07PM

    Why wont you negotiate!! :(

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  • Tanvir
    Apr 8, 2013 - 9:22PM

    @ET Please publish the above comment on your main page! So well said, Ahamd, This message shud be sent across, they need to stop bullying the rest of the country

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  • ttpponu
    Apr 8, 2013 - 9:23PM

    Why are ttp afraid of democracy? Because they know they have no mass support but of mullas who.form less than 1% of the population. TTP strives on hate and fear only.

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  • Rashid
    Apr 8, 2013 - 9:36PM

    I think the TTP doesn’t even know the basic, primary rules for interpretation of Texts, let alone complex matters of jurisprudence that would tax the brilliance of a qualified Mujtahid, or atleast their statements which plainly contradict the Shari’ah do show so.Recommend

  • Muhammad Khan
    Apr 8, 2013 - 9:39PM

    The Taliban and other mentally challenged individuals shouldn’t be given a voice by the media. They are not authorities on Islamic law nor are they Pakistani. They have waged war against this state and they should be known only as enemies.

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  • Ainee
    Apr 8, 2013 - 9:44PM

    Shari’a?? Really Taliban? Where does Shari’a ask Muslims to kill people for no valid reason? and children, women and old people? you’re not even allowed in wars to hurt them!.

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  • Breaking Bad
    Apr 8, 2013 - 9:50PM

    Did he meant clashes with TTP law which is different from Shariah law?

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  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    Apr 8, 2013 - 9:58PM

    Now here come the TTP.

    I was expecting such a statement from them. I am sure that the threat is not only for the tribal areas but for the entire Pakistan and this is why my wish is that the election should only be held when Jawans of Pakistan’s Army shoul come out to protect the voters.

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  • jg
    Apr 8, 2013 - 9:59PM

    “we have convinced people” means we have warned them of dire consequences if they go for polls. this is the only way these barbarians know and tribal people know that very well.

    i am a tribal myself and i wonder which tribal are with these animals. only those living under the barrel of the gun.

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  • Siddique Malik
    Apr 8, 2013 - 10:02PM

    Taliban is the symptom, not the disease. The diseases is that many Pakistanis think that whatever horrible things happen in Pakistan — suicide attacks, assassinations, bomb explosions, genocide of non-Muslim and/or non-Sunni Pakistanis, etc. — for which the Taliban and its fellow terrorists openly claim responsibility, are caused by India, America and Israel. As long as this disease remains in Pakistan, the nation of Pakistan will not collectively stand against the Taliban, and the symptoms will become more and more painful. There is only one way to get rid of a terrible symptom: Find a cure for the disease that is causing it.
    Siddique Malik, Louisville, Kentucky, USA.Recommend

  • Deepwater
    Apr 8, 2013 - 10:09PM

    Clearly, there is a huge gap in the interpretation of Islam between the comments above and the TTP. How then do you expect non-muslims to view your religion correctly? Also, why doesn’t the educated ruling establishment always want to compromise with these backward savages? That is what I do not understand.

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  • Sajid
    Apr 8, 2013 - 10:12PM

    Aoa,

    Ahmed where we are now. this all is result of ur literate people. Taliban are true people. They mean what they say…soon they will get popularity. Pakistan is only for shariah. and when once the system changed then every thing will be better.time have proved that democracy is not better then shariah. and also enjoy ur president zardari…ur prime minister Raja pervez … literate peoples. hah my foot.

    and also job system created by ur litrate people again make us slave. we are …….. by taxes. even we are paying taxes on our tooth paste. this money directly goes to group of people and they enjoy.on every phone 100 rupees phone card we got only 62 (app) rupees remaining is tax. the literate people enjoy on our money. so wake up. and change the system. and the system is only shariah.

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  • Hasan ali
    Apr 8, 2013 - 10:17PM

    What they are saying is that vote for JI or PTI .We will vote otherwise shias would see QUETTA situation everywhere.IMRAN is hand in glove with taliban.PESHAWARI

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  • PiS
    Apr 8, 2013 - 10:38PM

    @Sajid

    “Ahmed where we are now. this all is result of ur literate people. Taliban are true people.”

    BOOM

    ” They mean what they say…”

    BOOM. BOOM.

    “soon they will get popularity …”

    BOOM. BOOM. BOOM.

    And that’s how the love affair with TTP ended. RIP.

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  • Historian 1
    Apr 8, 2013 - 10:47PM

    Taliban are right. System of voting by people to elect a khalifa or leader is never prescribed in islam. Has there been an election (voting by people) in saudi arabia since the advent of Islam? On the other hand democratic system of government can only be successful in places where literacy rate is at least above 75-80%.
    @Sajid: Can you enlighten which version of shariah should be implemented in Pakistan. Do you have any idea how to run financial institutions without interest?

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  • DevilHunterX
    Apr 8, 2013 - 10:52PM

    @Sajid:
    And by the same imagination of yours, all those people murdered by TTP will spring back to life.

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  • Sajid
    Apr 8, 2013 - 11:05PM

    @DevilHunterX:
    can you count how many killed by americans ?????

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  • Apr 8, 2013 - 11:44PM

    It is clear that they wish to keep the nation of Pakistan from making any progress. They have the audacity to tell the people of Pakistan to stay away from the polling stations. Is it because they failed to scare the people with their act of terrors? The last few weeks alone have witnessed some cold hearted attacks against the nation of Pakistan. These terrorists are trying everything in their power to discourage people from voting. But the people of Pakistan have had enough of their propagandas, and it is becoming obvious that there is no support for their lawless and barbaric mentality. We fully respect Pakistan’s independence and repeat what Victoria Nuland, State Department Spokesperson, said: “What is most important is that the Pakistani people are now going to be afforded an opportunity, we all hope, through free, fair, and transparent elections, to express their will about the political future that they want to have. That’s what’s most important – that we get to elections in Pakistan.”

    We hope to continue our joint efforts against these terrorists. We stand by the people of Pakistan, and hope to see these terrorists caught and punished to the fullest extent of the law.

    Ali Khan

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  • numbersnumbers
    Apr 8, 2013 - 11:46PM

    @Sajid:
    Lets see, near 40,000 Pakistanis PURPOSELY killed (and probably twice that number maimed and crippled) over the past 10 years by TTP/terrorists!
    And the Americans have PURPOSELY killed/wounded JUST HOW MANY CIVILIANS in that time frame????

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  • AB
    Apr 8, 2013 - 11:47PM

    For group called Taliban (students) these guys are a bunch of ignorants.

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  • mystreeman
    Apr 9, 2013 - 12:01AM

    Why TTP threatens only Non-Punjabi leadership parties? (ANP, MQM, PPP) Why not PTI and PML (N)? Does it mean TTP has tacit support of PTI and PMl (N)?

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  • Siddique Malik
    Apr 9, 2013 - 12:18AM

    @Sajid:
    When you don’t have an answer to a question, bring up America. That’s the “disease” I was referring to in my earlier post.
    Siddique Malik, Louisville, Kentucky, USA.

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  • bangash@hotmail.com
    Apr 9, 2013 - 12:31AM

    @sajid
    Americans are in the region because of 9/11 and terrorists.

    Recommend

  • Noman
    Apr 9, 2013 - 1:09AM

    First TUQ then Mush.. now since Musharraf also failed to delay the election here comes TTP backed and sponsored by western establishment to achieve the hidden agenda.

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  • Rex Minor
    Apr 9, 2013 - 1:20AM

    They are simply saying that the BIG BOTHER is watching you!

    Rex Minor

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  • khattak
    Apr 9, 2013 - 1:50AM

    “obstacles put in place by the State, including intelligence agencies, political agents, the army, some FATA elite, as well as national and international terrorist groups,” a joint statement said.”

    So they make a team with Taliban to stop election process in FATA.To much at stake for establishment.

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  • Tamur
    Apr 9, 2013 - 6:38AM

    By the way, democracy means the election of a govt representive by majority of the people, which is same principle as having consensus in Islam.

    Shariah law is a law which has to implemented and has nothing to do with democracy.

    I can’t believe people on this page are so naive to compare Shariah law with democracy, which democracy shoud actually be compared with Caliphate system.

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