Demanding justice: PML-F warns Sindh govt of averse action if workers not compensated

Opponents of PPP unite in alleging mass rigging in the first phase of LG elections in Sindh

Our Correspondent November 02, 2015
PML-F president Pir Sadaruddin Shah Rashdi addressing a press conference. PHOTO: EXPRESS

KARACHI: Leaders of the Pakistan Muslim League — Functional (PML-F) have warned the Sindh government to avoid a bloody confrontation with its largest political competitor in the province as it could lead to a civil war.

"We have asked our people [Hur Jamaat followers] not to take the law into their hands," said PML-F president Pir Sadaruddin Shah Rashdi. "We believe in the writ of law. We don't want to create problems for the people, nor do we want to disturb the country's economy," he warned. He said that the followers won't let the assailants get away with the murders.

Rashdi was flanked by former chief minister Dr Arbab Ghulam Rahim, seasoned politician Ghaus Ali Shah, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Sindh leader Nadir Akmal Laghari and other party leaders at the press conference held at his house on Monday. The PML-F leader alleged that the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) had won the local government elections in the upper parts of Sindh through rigging. "State machinery was used to win the elections."

The PML-F leader warned that his party and Jamaat will announce a strategy if their workers, killed in the clash in Khairpur on October 31, were not given justice.

"It was government-sponsored terrorism," alleged Dr Rahim. "The Sindh government is expert in telling lies," he added, claiming that the PPP leaders have only been able to visit their areas after the PML-F leadership had asked their workers to be tolerant.

Sharing concerns of rigging and bloodshed in the next two phases of LG elections in Sindh, he demanded that the army chief look into the matter. "I am not even satisfied with the federal government." He also demanded the army chief to launch an operation in the rural areas of Sindh. "The operation shouldn't be limited to cities only."

Condemning the killings in Khairpur district, Ghaus Ali Shah said that: "The election is not being contested by the PPP, but the provincial government."

Shah said that the Election Commission of Pakistan should seriously look into the matter and immediately take notice of rigging. He said that the democratic forces always adopt the legal way.

At least eight people affiliated with the PML-F were killed during the clash at the polling station. Most of the deceased belonged to Sanghar district, which is a stronghold of the PML-F.

Initially, the PPP leadership claimed that the deceased belonged to the PPP but it later disowned the affiliation of the deceased with the party.

Security concerns

Meanwhile, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Karachi has demanded the presence of Rangers personnel inside and outside polling stations for the remaining two phases of local body elections in Sindh.

In a statement released by the party, PTI Karachi president Ali Zaidi said that the first round of elections in both Sindh and Punjab were marred by violence and clashes between the workers of different political parties.

"On polling day, we should be counting votes not dead bodies," said Zaidi. "The ECP has once again failed to create a peaceful environment on elections day," he added.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 3rd, 2015.



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