LAHORE - Jamaat-e-Islami spokesperson Amirul Azeem has said that the JI had its reservations in regard to the performance of the Election Commission but it had never criticised any EC office or officer by name.

Commenting on the statement of the Chief Election Commissioner, he said the JI wanted the Election Commission to be fully independent and autonomous, with an impartial and permanent staff, and vested with the powers to monitor the polls and punish the violators so that the wealthy could not high-jack elections with the power of money.  

The JI information Secretary said that all the elections since 1970 had been controversial and the term of rigging was commonly used in this regard both in the parliament and the courts. The results of the 2013 elections were also challenged almost by all political parties.

He however said that the Election Commission should also endeavour to secure maximum powers and autonomy and more resources to be able to hold free, fair and transparent polls. He said no doubt, every government had tried to curtail the election Commissions powers instead of making the institution autonomous, to protect its political interests, but the Election Commission itself had also been content with ad hoc measures instead of exercising the available powers to come up to the peoples’ expectations.Meanwhile, the leadership of JI, PML-Q, PTI and other parties welcomed the announcement of PPP chairman and co-chairman to become the part of parliament. They however termed nothing new and surprising in the statements of Belawal and Zardari, saying it was right of every politician to contest election and become the parliament.