PTI scrambling efforts to form broad-based alliance against poll rigging

— PTI in contact with GDA, PkMAP, JUI-F, others

— Sunni Ittehad, MWM, JUI-P assure support against vote fraud

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leaders are working behind the scenes to forge a new alliance comprising of smaller political and nationalist political parties.

Sources in the PTI told Pakistan Today that effort is being made to converge all smaller and regional parties on one platform against election rigging and initial contacts have yielded results in this regard.

The sources said that the PTI is in touch with the Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA), Pashtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP), Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Pakistan (JUI-P), JUI-F, Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC), Majlis Wahdat-ul-Muslimeen (MWM) and others for forming a broad-based alliance against poll rigging.

The sources said that talks were making headway and Imran Khan had tasked Asad Qaisar with the responsibility to take the dialogue process ahead.

In this regard, Asad Qaisar met with a delegation of Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam Pakistan (JUI-P) who later announced joining hands with the PTI for “political stability” in the country.

“I am indebted to PTI for taking JUI-P into confidence in the current scenario and opting for an alliance for the way forward,” a JUI-P leader said at a press conference.

PTI’s Gohar Khan said both the parties had affirmed to continue contacts.

“We all agree that this country is ours, democracy should continue moving forward […] and we will take a step forward to improve the economy.”

He said that both the parties agreed to continue the struggle against alleged rigging in the Feb 8 polls.

“God willing we will go to Quetta and Karachi in the coming day […] we will not allow anyone to take any decisions behind closed doors, these decisions need to be taken as per the law and Constitution,” Asad Qaisar said at the press conference alongside JUI-P leaders.

Qaiser claimed that his party has won the public’s mandate and is the largest political force in the country. “Any other government that comes will be fake and would not be able to solve Pakistan’s problems,” he added.

The PTI leader further hoped that his party’s grievances would be heard in courts.

Meanwhile, PTI’s Sindh President Haleem Adil Sheikh has met a delegation of the Grand Democratic Alliance(GDA) in Sindh to discuss their joint action plan of protests against alleged rigging in the February 8 polls.

In a post on Facebook, the PTI also shared a video of the said meeting.

The PTI’s Karachi secretary general Ali Ahmed Palh and MPA-elect Agha Arsalan Khan were also present during the meeting, wherein they discussed the prospects of forming a “strong alliance” to hold protests in the province.

Meanwhile, Sunni Ittehad Council leader Hafiz Hamid Raza has said his party’s alliance with the PTI dates back nearly eight years.

“But the way PTI’s ‘bat’ was taken just a few days before elections […] I want to clarify that this is not a single-handed decision. It includes the approval of PTI leadership and Imran Khan,” he said.

Raza added that SIC and Majlis Wahdat-i-Muslimeen were two parties that had always opposed sectarian violence and did not believe in militancy. “We have a clear stance on banned outfits,” he stated.

“I want to clarify one more thing that our support of Imran Khan and the PTI is unconditional and without any demand,” the SIC leader said.

“I want to make it clear, in black and white, that the policy will be of the PTI and Imran Khan sahib,” Raza told PTI-backed independents.

He went on to say that the SIC and MMW were two parties that had always opposed sectarian violence and did not believe in militancy.

On the occasion, MWM general secretary Raja Nasir Abbas said that MWM would stand shoulder-to-shoulder with PTI, emphasizing their joint struggle for the nation’s uplift. He strongly denounced the large scale rigging on February 8, stressing the need for electoral transparency and adherence to constitutional norms.

He called for a fair electoral process devoid of manipulation, underscoring the importance of democracy in steering the country towards prosperity. He lauded that PTI workers and leadership made a history by facing all the hardship, coercion and operations with patience and perseverance.

Nasir Abbas went on to say that PTI government was ousted under the conspiracy. He lamented that efforts were afoot once again to impose those who ruined the country and did not have the ability to run the government. “We will ensure release of PTI Founding Chairman in a dignifying manner,” he vowed.

He went on to say that fake and absurd FIRs were registered against PTI founder, adding that only PTI Funding Chairman could do the work of nation building.

Mian Abrar
Mian Abrar
The writer heads Pakistan Today's Islamabad Bureau. He has a special focus on counter-terrorism and inter-state relations in Asia, Asia Pacific and South East Asia regions. He tweets as @mian_abrar and also can be reached at [email protected]


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