AJIP to lend 100,000 men for ‘Azadi March’

Shahram Tarakai says independent election commission to strengthen democracy.

Our Correspondent August 08, 2014


The Awami Jamhoori Ittehad Pakistan (AJIP) on Thursday announced it would join Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) Azadi March to Islamabad on August 14 with between 75,000 and 100,000 of its activists from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

Speaking to journalists at the Peshawar Press Club, AJIP Chairman and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Minister for Health Shahram Khan Tarakai said the aim of the march was to establish an independent Election Commission of Pakistan.

“If the election commission is free and fair, the system will be strengthened, the people will elect their representatives and the MPAs and MNAs will respect the masses’ mandate,” said Tarakai. He maintained that establishing a free election commission would benefit all political parties.

The AJIP leader stressed that no hurdles should be created during the march as it was the democratic right of all to press for their demands. “If the federal government is not ready to recount the votes in four constituencies, how can it develop democracy in the entire country?” questioned the AJIP chief.

He said PTI’S demands were well within its constitutional rights and pointed out that this was not the first time in Pakistan’s history that such a march had been organised.

Tarakai also appreciated the efforts of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Central Ameer Sirajul Haq to play peacemaker between PTI and the PML-Nawaz-led central government. He hoped Haq would be successful in his mission, but added that should talks fail, the AJIP would invite JI to take part in the Azadi March too. Tarakai claimed there was no danger to the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government as all coalition partners were united.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 8th, 2014.