ISLAMABAD: Chief of Qaumi Watan Party Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao criticised the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Friday for ‘politics of agitation’, questioning, “Why is the PTI protesting against the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) when the former chief election commissioner Fakhruddin G Ebrahim was appointed to the position after seeking the PTI’s consent?”
Discussing the call for recount of votes in some constituencies, he said the election tribunals had the required powers to do so and were the proper forum to address such complaints. “The PTI must trust the election tribunals to resolve their grievances,” he said. “At this juncture, the politics of violence and protests must be avoided as people are interested in having their problems resolved and protest demonstrations will not resolve anything.”
Parliamentary parties on Friday agreed to constitute a 33-member parliamentary committee, with representation from all parties including PTI, jointly introduce reforms to make the electoral process transparent. Sherpao urged all parties, members of civil society and the media to give their input on the reforms.
The QWP leader commented that the PTI should dedicate August 14 to the plight of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). He said an area in F-9 Park could be dedicated to the protests or rallies on the day so residents of the city are not inconvenienced.
Meanwhile PML-N parliamentarian Talal Chaudhry said the government does not have the power to open ballot boxes of constituencies, adding, “If someone has a complaint, he should knock at the door of the ECP.”
PPP stalwart Qamar Zaman Kaira added that the government should resolve the issues raised by the long march through political means and the parliament’s forum.
PPP MNA Ramesh Kumar said electoral reforms should be discussed in the parliamentary committee and any agitation that could derail the democratic system would not serve any purpose.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 19th, 2014.