- ANP lambastes ECP for violating code of conduct for elections
- PML-Q says would have been better had government not indulged in controversies
- JI says certain factors made election controversial
Awami National Party (ANP) Information Secretary Senator Zahid on Tuesday demanded he removal of Election Commission of Pakistan officials who failed to perform their duties regarding holding free and fair presidential poll.
Talking exclusively to Pakistan Today, Zahid said his party’s boycott was not against the presidential election, but the system under which hurdles were created to restrict parliamentarians in using their right to vote.
He said the ECP violated the code of conduct for elections earlier and later the Supreme Court interfered by giving a faulty judgment on the initial hearing, without listening to the other parties, adding that the procedure was neither constitutional nor democratic.
“On the other hand, the government did not adopt a flexible approach, which was a big mistake on their part,” he added.
“The PML-N had majority in parliament, what would have happened if they had held the presidential polls by August 6?” Khan questioned, saying the reality was that the government was up to sabotage the process.
To a question, he was of the view that in Senate, only 40 of 103 members cast their ballots, and Senate was a platform that united provinces and played an important role in legislation.
“We consider the presidential poll controversial,” he added, saying the circumstances under which the polls took place were disputed.
He said Tuesday’s major incident was the terror strike on DI Khan jail and government was quite over the issue, despite claiming that it would introduce change.
“Is this the promised change?” the ANP leader said.
“Even the media is biased over the issue and kept its eyes closed over jailbreak, proving to be a ‘Punjabi media’.”
If the particular incident had taken place in Punjab, the media’s reaction would have been different, Zahid said.
Wasim Sajjad of the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid was of the view that it would have been better for the government not to indulge in any controversies over the presidential election.
“The situation would have been different, because the president is a symbol of federation.”
“Whatever happened is done, the president should now stay away from becoming disputed and should put aside party affiliations.”
The PML-Q leader said the new president should create an environment in which no lawmaker felt hesitation in visiting the presidency and should take on board all political parties in the larger interest of the country.
Commenting on the PPP boycott of polls, he said it was a political decision and every party enjoyed its right to boycott if it had reservations.
Jamat-e-Islami leader Fareed Ahmed Paracha termed the presidential poll unpleasant, saying the election had stained the beauty of the democratic system.
Talking to Pakistan Today, Paracha maintained that it was true that the PML-N held majority in parliament and would be able to bring their president.
“However, several things happened in this election that caused disgrace to the presidential poll, including the change in the schedule of the presidential poll, PML-N’s contact with the Supreme Court and Supreme Court’s decision on the initial hearing of the trial,” he said.
Paracha noted that on part of the opposition, the division was the most unpleasant situation faced and the opposition should not have been divided.
PML-N’s Raja Zafarul Haq said the presidential polls were complete in every context and fair enough in every aspect, including techinical and constitutional.
“This is the reason the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf, Jamiat-e-Ulema-e-Islam (Fazal), Muttahida Qaumi Movement and Jamat-e-Islami took part in the elections,” Haq added.
He said that if Pakistan People’s Party had reservations, they should not have blamed the Supreme Court or the Election Commission of Pakistan, but their own party leaders whose corruption brought them to this point.
Muttahida Qaumi Movement leader Dr Farooq Sattar said his hopes from the newly-elected president would take on board provincial entities, adding that the MQM would support the people friendly policies of the PML-N while staying in opposition.