Taking a position: Siraj says govt should move to end agitation

Published: October 28, 2014
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Sirajul Haque talking to the media after meeting with the PTI delegation. PHOTO: INP

Sirajul Haque talking to the media after meeting with the PTI delegation. PHOTO: INP

LAHORE: Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) ameer Sirajul Haq urged the government on Monday to implement the decisions taken during meetings between a jirga of opposition parties and the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and the Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) over sit-ins in Islamabad.

He was addressing a joint press conference with PTI vice chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi.

Earlier, he had had a meeting with a PTI delegation consisting of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervez Khattak and PTI Punjab president Ejaz Chaudhry.

The JI leader said he had not received any draft regarding the proposed electoral reforms from the government. “The JI has not been informed about any progress in this regard,” he said.

He said if the government delayed the formation of a judicial commission to investigate claims of rigging and if it did not reconstitute the Election Commission, the controversy would continue.

Haq said the government should not conclude that threat to democracy was over now that PAT chief Tahirul Qadri had called off his sit-in.

“The crisis will deepen if the government does not honour its commitments,” he said.

He said the PTI’s posture had been positive during the entire stand-off. Its leaders were still willing to resume talks, he said.

“It has now become imperative for the government to demonstrate a positive attitude and restart the talks,” the JI chief said.

Haq said if electoral reforms were not introduced, it would become hard to bring voters to polling stations.

“The people have lost faith in the electoral system… there is no transparency. A commoner cannot even think of becoming part of the parliament,” he said.

He said politics had become a business. People had voted time and again but saw no change.

“It is time that political parties rose above narrow interests and found solutions to the citizens’ problems,” he said.

Qureshi told reporters that the PTI-JI coalition government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had been a success.

He said the PTI delegation had called upon the JI chief to find out ways and means to improve the working relationship between the two parties.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 28th, 2014.

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