Parties demand tribal areas polls under judiciary supervision

Friday, March 15th, 2013 5:18:28 by

Political and religious leaders have demanded judiciary supervision of elections in the tribal regions to block any attempt of rigging.


The leaders also called for vote right to hundreds of thousands of tribesmen who are still living as displaced persons, particularly from South Waziristan and Khyber agencies.


Speaking at a joint press conference in Islamabad they complained that the Election Commission of Pakistan has not yet addressed to their demands.


They said that the 2011 Political Parties Order extension and Frontier Crimes Regulation amendments are not being implemented properly.


A declaration issued on the occasion called for free and open access to political parties and also necessary security to travel to and operate in FATA.


The parties noted that many ‘maliks’ continue to sell the votes of their people for money and called upon the Election Commission to prohibit the practice and any “vote buying” activities should be punishable by law, including the disqualification of candidates violating the regulation.


To ensure increased women’s participation in elections, women’s polling stations should be provided in all agencies and frontier regions.


The statement was endorsed by 11 political parties — represented on the FATA Committee: Awami National Party (ANP), Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam F (JUI-F), Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), National Party (NP), Pashtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP), Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan Muslim League Quaid-e-Azam (PML), Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Qaumi Watan Party (QWP).


The leaders expressed apprehensions about transparent polls in FATA if political activities were not freely allowed. Prof, Ibrahim read out the declaration in the presence of tribal leaders and media persons.


They said as political parties prepare to participate in the first party-based elections in FATA history, the Political Parties Joint Committee on FATA reforms (FATA Committee) came together to present their assessment of the pre-election environment in FATA and their vision for further political reforms.


The parties highlighted many shortcomings in the implementation of the Political Parties Order extension and ongoing obstacles to their free operation in the tribal areas.

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