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JUI-F chief claims Pak military interference in elections, says coalition govt to be manipulated by 'hidden forces'

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Islamabad | February 23, 2024 10:55:51 AM IST
Amid the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) announcement to form a coalition government, the Jamiat Ulema Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman asserted on Thursday that the allied parties would blackmail each other while being manipulated by "hidden forces," The Express Tribune reported.

While addressing the meeting regarding his party's protest against alleged rigging in the recent general elections, Fazl lamented the erosion of democratic principles.

"After the 2018 election, we hoped for fairness and transparency in 2024, but once again our aspirations and constitutional supremacy have been undermined," he said.

Rehman raised concerns about the legitimacy of the Parliament if elections continue to be disputed. He criticised direct interference by the military establishment in the "selection" of representatives, warning that such actions would compromise the democratic process, The Express Tribune reported.

"In this election, our establishment has shattered corruption records spanning 75 years," he declared, emphasising the importance of upholding democratic values. "We are the torchbearers of democracy, and it is our responsibility to protect the Constitution," he added.

The JUI-F leader also criticised the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), accusing them of hypocrisy for alleging rigging after benefiting from it in 2018.

"When you were forming a government in 2018, there was no talk of rigging. But now, when you find yourselves on the opposite end, suddenly you see rigging," Fazl stated.

Regarding his party's role in Parliament, the JUI-F chief asserted that their true strength lay in street protests rather than legislative chambers. He also criticised the growing influence of the military in political affairs.

Earlier in the day, JUI-F had announced that it would commence a movement against alleged rigging during the February 8 general elections. Party leader Aslam Ghauri, in a statement, said that in the initial phase of the movement, meetings at different party levels will be held.

"The rigging in these elections has put 2018's rigging to shame," said the JUI-F leader and added that a "mockery has been made of the public mandate." (ANI)

 
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