KARACHI – Laying stress on importance of timely elections, Pakistan Muslim League-Functional chief Pir Pagara stated on Saturday an extension to the caretaker dispensation might lead the country to instability and a constitutional war.
Pagara’s concern came during a news conference following a crucial meeting with top Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi at Raja House where they took stock of the overall political situation in the country and cooperation between their groups for the next elections.
The spiritual leader of the Hur clan noted with reservations that the political parties speaking for the federation were surprisingly few in number, and said a major chunk of politicians was concerned about their respective provinces, districts or constituencies. The PML-F, Pagara claimed, was a pro-federation party, saying, “We have engaged all the political forces that believe in the federation for the next general elections.”
He also announced his party and Hur community’s support to Shah Mehmood Qureshi, PTI’s election candidate for the constituency of Thar district, before the media, recalling that his late father Pir Pagara had always wanted cooperation between the Ghausia and Hur communities in Sindh. He also said that his followers and party workers in Tharparkar would vote Qureshi. Through supporting the Ghausia clan chief Shah Mehmood Qureshi, he said, he had fulfilled the wishes of his late father. He also hoped that former Sindh chief minister Dr Arbab Ghulam Rahim would go along with the opposition parties in the elections.
The PML-F chief, to a question, said the way the returning officers were asking the questions during the scrutiny process from the candidates was ridiculous. He demanded the ECP to stop the returning officers from asking the candidates such kind of questions as he voiced concerns over the brief schedule for scrutiny of nomination papers of election candidates. He said there was no one here to stop those who had committed corruption, stashed billions of rupees on their foreign accounts and managed to get their loans written off.
Pagara alleged that the PPP would use the gun power and money to steal and snatch the elections in the Sindh province. He also said the PPP was practically in government till date as the caretaker set-up had not changed those officers posted by the previous government to rig the elections. “Whether we accept the election results or not we will fight from each constituency in the upcoming polls,” he declared.
Speaking to the media, PTI Vice-Chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi said this was the first time when the PPP had not observed the death anniversary of Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. The real PPP is sleeping in the graveyard of Garhi Khuda Bux Bhutto, while the present-day PPP had turned into Zardari League, he went on to say.
Qureshi also underscored the importance of elections, saying there was no constitutional reason to delay elections.
He said the next election was a competition between the opportunist politicians and those who wanted to serve the nation. He thanked Pir Pagara for supporting him in Thar constituency.
According to a statement issued from PML-F House, the divisional committees of the ten opposition parties, including the PML-N, Jamaat-e-Islami, JUI-F, NPP and nationalist parties, would hold meetings regularly to reach a consensus on election candidates between April 9 and April 10.