JI to support PTI in NA-122, PP-147 by-polls

Source:  Dawn.com Published in Politics on Monday, October 5, 2015

LAHORE: The Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) on Monday announced that it had decided to support Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) in the coming by-elections for National Assembly's NA-122 and Punjab Assembly's PP-147 seats.

Speaking at a press conference in Lahore, leaders of the two parties said Jamaat-i-Islami had decided to support the PTI candidate in NA-122 and will also stand with its ally in the elections for PP-147 which are scheduled to be held on Oct 11.

NA-122 is one of four constituencies where PTI chairman Imran Khan had demanded voters’ thumbprint verification following his defeat to Ayaz Sadiq during the 2013 general elections.

Announcing his party's decision, JI leader Mian Maqsood said the call was made upon the conclusion of three dialogue sessions with the PTI team. He added that the dialogue was held to iron out details as JI had its own reservations over seat adjustment with PTI.

Maqsood said he hoped PTI will win the NA seat and grab Punjab's PP-147 as well, adding that JI itself was solely focusing on the upcoming local body polls.

Speaking on the occasion, PTI central leader Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar thanked the JI leadership and said his party will easily secure the critical seat as people were aware of the government's incompetence.

"Those ruling us for the last 30 years have failed to solve the people's problems and there isn't a single public department that is corruption free," said Sarwar.

Referring to local government elections, the former governor maintained that a government could not be called democratic until and unless it devolves its powers to the local level.

"It is only in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) where we not only devolved power but the funds as well," said Sarwar.

Polling for NA-122 is scheduled for Oct 11 and PTI has fielded former provincial minister Abdul Aleem Khan against Ayaz Sadiq.

The ECP is setting up 284 polling stations for this by-election and there will be 673 polling booths for male and female voters in the constituency. The election commission has also decided to deploy Pakistan Rangers Punjab personnel for the by-poll. Meanwhile, PP-147, which also overlaps with areas represented in NA-122 on the national level, will have 111 polling stations.

The by-poll will be held in the light of a decision of the Punjab election commission's tribunal which ordered re-election for NA-122, declaring the election in the constituency null and void over PTI Chairman Imran Khan's petition challenging the 2013 election result.

NA-122 is among the four controversial constituencies — the other three being NA-110 (Sialkot), NA-125 (Lahore) and NA-154 (Lodhran) — where PTI had demanded voters’ thumbprint verification in the hopes of finding a solution acceptable to all concerned.

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