KARACHI–In a press conference in Karachi today, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s candidate from NA-246, Imran Ismail, called for the army to be deployed in the hotly-contested constituency of Azizabad until election on April 23.
Speaking to journalists after a meeting with MQM officials and police, Ismail said due to the security situation, the party is unable to go to voters’ doors and run an election campaign. “Wherever we go, people are scared.”
He said the PTI had been unable to begin its election campaign the way it wanted due to hindrances posed by MQM workers, adding that that the Election Commission of Pakistan had taken little notice of the situation.
“Wherever we go, their workers follow us,” he said. Ismail said the PTI has been open about its reservations and had little faith in the administration. “Both the election commission and the MQM are hindering the election process.”
Ismail claimed the MQM was instigating its workers into conflict, and said those who had been caught creating chaos were adorned with flowers at MQM’s office after release.
But the senior PTI official wanted the MQM to know “we are not going to back down easily”, and called for PTI party members to be given complete security during the run up to the elections.
Ismail claimed that Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah said, “This seat [NA 246] has traditionally been taken by the MQM,” and went on to say “If all parties have already decided the seats that belong to them, then what is the point of holding elections?”
Speaking about the influence the MQM has over its workers – and in particular, Saulat Mirza – Imran Ismail said, “These are the children who could have become … Sadequain, Gulgee. But we handed them weapons and where are they now? Tomorrow there will be more people like this. I want to stop the children of Karachi from taking this route.”
PTI MNA Dr Arif Alvi also spoke on the occasion, saying the party had no more faith in the administration, despite talks with the commissioner of Karachi and the police.
He claimed the MQM had no intention to contest peaceful elections. “That’s why … We said we don’t expect anything from them. Because three days ago they reassured us, and yesterday there was an attack on our camp.”
“Our workers have patience, that’s why they didn’t react. Otherwise the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf can react in all of Pakistan – But we have a code of conduct that we adhere to.”
Prior to the press conference, the PTI and MQM also met at Commissioner House to defuse tension between the two parties. The PTI was represented by Imran Ismail and Arif Alvi, while Kanwar Naveed Jamil and Muhammad Hussain represented the MQM.
Commissioner Karachi Shoaib Siddiqui and Additional IG Ghulam Qadir Thebo said both parties should exercise patience when dealing with each other and advised them not to use foul language when addressing one another.
Sep 28, 2016 0
Special coverage on China's Two Party Sessions by The Daily Mail - People's Daily