HYDERABAD: The local chapters of the Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in Dadu district have joined hands to contest the local government elections against the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP). The alliance, announced at a press conference in Dadu on Thursday, also includes the PPP-Shaheed Bhutto (PPP-SB) and Awami Ittehad Party (AIP).
“The government machinery in Dadu is in favour of the PPP. They are already involved in pre-poll rigging,” alleged Syed Zafar Ali Shah, a leader of the AIP at whose residence the coalition was declared. Shah is a former deputy speaker of the National Assembly. He was elected as MNA six times from 1985 to 2008.
The allies demanded deployment of the army on election day on November 19 to prevent ballot rigging and harassment of supporters of their parties.
As many as 1,328 candidates have entered the electoral fray for 415 seats in the district’s council, three municipal committees and five town committees. Some 64 seats have already been won unopposed, mainly by candidates belonging to the PPP.
Shah alleged that the district administration and the police are supporting the PPP candidates while creating trouble for those belonging to their allies. “The katcha [riverbed and mountainous regions in Dadu] has been left completely at the mercy of dacoits, who have turned them into no-go areas,” he claimed.
Shah, Ali Nawaz Rind of PML-N, Mansoor Makhdoom of PTI and Peeral Khoso of PPP-SB all rejected the Rapid Response Force being formed for the purpose of security during the elections. They believed that the force will be used to rig the polls.
The coalition partners also demanded the Election Commission of Pakistan remove deputy commissioner Sardar Jamali and post police officers at police stations from other districts.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 7th, 2015.