Home Latest News Senate Resolution Seeking Poll Delay Supports JUIF Stance: Fazl

Senate Resolution Seeking Poll Delay Supports JUIF Stance: Fazl

Party chief reiterates claims of non-conducive security situation for general elections in country

by Staff Report

File photo, courtesy JUIF

Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (Fazl) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman on Sunday maintained that a Senate resolution seeking a delay to the general elections had supported his party’s stance of the country’s security situation not supporting conduct of polls nationwide.

Last week, an independent senator moved a resolution seeking a delay to the general elections due to a poor security situation, the COVID-19 pandemic, and severe winter weather in the country’s northern areas. A majority of 14 senators present in the Upper House adopted the resolution, with the sole opposition coming from PMLN Senator Afnanullah Khan. On Saturday, lawmakers tabled a fresh resolution backing general elections on Feb. 8, while a separate plea was filed before the Supreme Court seeking contempt proceedings against the senators involved in the delay resolution.

“The sky will not fall if polls are deferred for the betterment of the [security] situation,” Fazl told Geo News, echoing earlier comments in which he has similarly called for a delay to the polls. However, he clarified, his party had no prior information about the resolution.

Stressing the prevailing security situation was not conducive for polls or election campaigns in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan, he said people were being threatened through pamphlets warning them against attending JUIF rallies. Urging relevant stakeholders to realize the “gravity” of the situation, he alleged he had personally received threats against attending specific rallies. Due to this, he claimed, he could no longer participate in political gatherings.

Maintaining his party was not “running away” from elections, he said the exercise should only occur when security was sufficient for all political parties to campaign. Whether or not polls are delayed, he said, his party would participate in the process. “I believe in talks and mediation but one can move towards a comprehensive strategy only by looking at the ground realities for talks with the TTP,” he added.

To a question on a level-playing field, Fazl claimed this term was being used just to support a single party. “There was the same blue-eyed boy yesterday and today, he is also being supported,” he said without naming anyone, but seemingly referring to PTI founder Imran Khan.

According to the JUIF chief, his party has not yet entered into any significant electoral alliance. He said he had permitted his party leaders to go ahead with seat adjustments in their respective districts.

Afghan visit

The JUIF chief separately reached Kabul on Sunday on the invitation of the Taliban-led interim government. The visit, coming at a low point in ties between the neighbors, is aimed at discussing the regional security situation, according to a spokesman of the JUIF.

Afghan Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, in a brief statement on X, confirmed Fazl’s arrival in Kabul.

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