Home Latest News PDM Not Electoral Alliance, Clarifies Fazlur Rehman

PDM Not Electoral Alliance, Clarifies Fazlur Rehman

Chief of ruling coalition says decision on general elections in October will be taken in consultation with all component parties

by Staff Report

File photo of Maulana Fazlur Rehman

Clarifying that the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) coalition is not an electoral alliance, its head—Maulana Fazlur Rehman who also heads the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (Fazl)—said that it is unlikely that the parties will contest the upcoming polls on a single platform.

“Every party has its own manifesto. However, the parties in the PDM may go for seat-adjustment at local levels,” he told journalists on Monday after paying respects to Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) leader Ayaz Sadiq, whose elder brother passed away last month. As the date for the completion of the constitutional term of the National Assembly nears, there are growing questions over whether the PDM will contest the polls as a united front. Comprising nine parties, the alliance does not include the Pakistan Peoples Party, though the party has expressed willingness for seat-adjustment in some areas, particularly Punjab.

However, during his media interaction, Rehman stopped short of saying elections would take place as expected in October. “We are political people who are in favor of elections but the decision regarding polls [in October] will be taken in consultation with all coalition parties, just as the PDM made decisions in consultation with allied parties in the past,” he said, stressing no one wished to unleash a fresh wave of chaos in the country. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan, in earlier statements, has already claimed he fears elections will now not even happen in October and might be delayed into the next year.

To a question, the JUIF chief said he and his party would welcome a ban on the PTI if it were imposed through courts. He also supported the trial of May 9 rioters under the Army Act, stressing it was unprecedented for supporters of a political party to be involved in attacks on military installations. To another question, he reiterated that he did not support any talks with the PTI, adding it must be prosecuted for the May 9 violence.

Making an example

Separately, addressing a campaign rally for a by-election in Bagh, Pakistan-administered Kashmir, PMLN Chief Organizer Maryam Nawaz echoed Rehman’s comments by saying the PTI chief should be made an example of for the events of May 9. Deriding Khan for “hiding in a bunker” at Zaman Park, she reiterated condemnations of the May 9 riots, alleging that former AJK prime minister Tanveer Ilyas had identified Khan as the planner of the May 9 attacks.

Lamenting the May 9 riots, she said it had brought tears to the “eyes of the heirs of the martyrs.” Stressing that the nation would not forgive this, she accused Khan of “selling” Kashmir during a meeting with then-U.S. president Donald Trump in Washington. She also referred to the ongoing exodus of PTI workers and leaders from the party, saying they were “returning to where they had come from.”

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