Islamabad 27 July 2018 (Anadolu News)
A multiparty conference held in Pakistan’s Capital Friday called for fresh elections amid allegations of vote-rigging.
Leaders of various political parties attended the conference, which was chaired by Shahbaz Sharif, President of the outgoing ruling party, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), and Maulana Fazlur Rehman, President of Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA), a coalition of five religious-turned-political parties.
Other attendees included Jamaat-e-Islami Chief Sirajul Haq, Awami National Party Chief Asfandyar Wali Khan, former premier Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Qaumi Watan, Party Chief Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao, Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party Chief Mehmood Khan Achakzai, Azad Kashmir premier Raja Farooq Haider, Governor Sindh Muhammad Zubair, Chief Minister Gilgit-Baltistan Hafeezur Rahman, Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan leader Farooq Sattar, Pak Sarzameen Party Chief Mustafa Kamal and National Party Senator Mir Hasil Bizenjo.
“The All Parties Conference has completely rejected the July 25 elections with consensus” and demands fresh elections, Rehman told reporters after the meeting.
According to the Election Commission of Pakistan, former cricket star Imran Khan’s party, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party (PTI), won 116 of 269 seats in the National Assembly in Wednesday’s polls.
But the major political parties rejected the results.
The elections were rigged and engineered, Rehman alleged, adding the people have been robbed of their mandate.
The political leaders also alleged that election officials at polling stations “remained a hostage to army personnel” and did not hand over results of the parties’ polling agents.
The meeting also decided to launch a countrywide movement to compel the authorities to hold fresh elections. The schedule for protests will be announced Sunday.
“Our elected leaders [of the parties attending this conference] will not take their oath. Neither will we allow anyone to enter parliament,” Rehman warned, adding Shahbaz Sharif had asked for time to consult his party over the move first.
Religious and nationalist leaders from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan provinces, including Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Sirajul Haq, Asfandyar Wali Khan, Mehmood Khan Achakzai and Aftab Sherpao, have lost their seats.