ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has said it is ready to play the role of an ‘umpire’ between the government and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) over the constitution of a judicial commission to probe allegations of rigging in the May 2013 general election.
Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Syed Khursheed Ahmed Shah – who belongs to the PPP – said on Wednesday that he had met with Finance Minister Ishaq Dar over the issue and expressed willingness to play a role for the resolution of the long-drawn crisis.
“It will be dangerous for the country, Constitution and government itself if it does not constitute a judicial commission,” Shah said, adding: “The PPP wants the PTI to return to parliament.”
The PTI has had several rounds of talks with the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) over judicial commission and claims that the government has backtracked from its commitment. The PTI has also warned it could re-launch its movement against rigging in general elections.
Shah linked the issue with what was happening in Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) ahead of elections and said it seemed as if the government has not learnt any lessons. “The ruling PML-N has appointed a hand-picked chief election commissioner, planted around a dozen cronies in the caretaker setup and has now appointed a federal minister as governor of the G-B,” he said.
Shah clarified that the PPP government had appointed then federal minister Qamar Zaman Kaira as governor and had subsequently addressed lacunas in the law. “I wrote that there has been pre-poll rigging in the G-B elections but I have got no reply from him,” he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 19th, 2015.
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