PPP, MQM, ANP vow to contest polls despite terror hits

PPP, MQM, ANP vow to contest polls despite terror hits

Karachi: The ex-coalition partners,-PPP, MQM and ANP, while joining hands, announced on Monday not to bow down to the religious extremists and Taliban and participate in the elections despite terror attacks and threats from the religious extremists.

The leaders of the three parties, addressing a joint press conference at the Karachi Press Club, came down hard against the caretaker government and the Election Commission of Pakistan, saying they had not taken any step to ensure peace to provide a level-playing field to the three parties.Former senator Taj Haider, Waqar Mehdi and Najmi Alam from PPP, Haider Abbas Rizvi, Muhammad Raza Haroon and Dr Sagheer Ahmed from MQM and Bashir Jan of ANP addressed the press conference.

Following the contacts among President Asif Ali Zardari, ANP’s Asfandyar Wali Khan and MQM Chief Altaf Hussain, the three parties announced their strategy jointly, terming that attacks and threats on the liberal, progressive, moderate and secular parties had again drawn a line between the liberal, progressive and extremist thoughts.The leaders of the three parties alleged the terrorist organizations and extremists were armed wings of right-wing parties as the banned outfits had always claimed they were receiving funds and support from these political parties.

Condemning the repeated attacks, the three parties vowed they would stand firm on participating in the elections as bomb blasts and attacks could not deter their determination.The leaders of PPP, MQM and ANP, while giving their joint message with clear and loud voice, vowed they would combat the terrorists with unity and would not bow down and surrender to them.“We don’t want confrontation, but if anyone imposes war on us, we, the three parties, while following the UN charter as well as social and human principles, will defend ourselves with full force,” they declared.

The leaders of the three parties pointed the finger at the establishment, including the US and the Nato forces as well as Pakistani establishment, saying the freedom awarded to the banned outfits and extremist organisations would be their repeated mistake of handing over the region to the extremists and Taliban after their pullout in 2014. They added the US had committed the same mistake in Afghanistan in the past.The three political parties warned the international and Pakistani establishment not to repeat the mistakes and blunders of the past by sheltering the extremist organisations.

They alleged the attacks and threats against PPP, MQM and ANP aimed at keeping these liberal parties out of the election process and bring the right-wing parties to power.The PPP, MQM and ANP leaders, in their joint statement of the press conference, alleged the US, UK and western forces were providing all their support to the right-wing parties in Pakistan.The three parties were of the opinion the US and other western forces, as a solution of their pullout from Afghanistan in 2014, wanted to see the right-wing parties in the government in Pakistan.

PPP leader Taj Haider, while condemning the terror attacks on the political parties, said no investigations were being carried out against the terrorist groups. He also came down hard on the caretaker government, saying the interim government had failed to provide security to the liberal parties.He added the rangers and other law-enforcing agencies, instead of nabbing the terrorists, were conducting crackdown against the workers of political parties in the city. He said the ECP allowed at least 50 members of the banned outfits to contest the elections.

Without naming PML-N, PTI and religio-political parties, the PPP leader said the election campaign was going on in Punjab as terrorist organisations were a militant wing of right-wing parties and terrorist groups had confirmed that some political parties were their sponsors.Meanwhile, ANP leader Bashir Jan said the Election Commission had failed to implement the election code while the interim government had not taken action against the terrorists. He announced his party would participate in the election and would not boycott despite the attacks and threats.

MQM leader Haider Abbas Rizvi said the liberal and secular parties were being targeted by the terrorists. He said it seemed the terrorists had been given a free hand to target PPP, MQM and ANP in the city.Rizvi also said the establishment was supporting right-wing parties, but announced they would not bow down to the religious extremists. He added PPP, MQM and ANP had sacrificed a lot and wanted to promote a moderate system in Pakistan. – TheNation