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Pak opposition demands by-polls under Army supervision

Last Updated: Monday, January 18, 2010 - 21:23

Peshawar: The opposition PML-Q party on Monday demanded that by-polls in the restive Swat and Mansehra districts in northwest Pakistan should be held under Army supervision to ensure transparency and fairness of balloting.
PML-Q president Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain said the polling should be done under army supervision as his party feared there would be massive rigging by the state machinery.

Nobody could raise questions about the transparency of the polls if the government and the Election Commission took steps for the army to supervise the process, he told a news conference at the Press Club here.

Hussain said the PML-Q also supports the move to change the name of the North West Frontier Province but this should be done after developing consensus among all stakeholders and political parties.

The PML-Q will present its suggestions regarding the renaming of the province soon, he added.

Responding to a question, Hussain said the PML-Q wanted the Pakistan People?s Party-led government to complete its term.

The recent violence in the southern port city of Karachi was more political in nature than a law and order problems and should be addressed through political means, he said.

PML-Q president Hussain said the land mafia is trying to destabilise Karachi for its vested interests and the situation should be dealt with by forging unity among political parties.

PML-Q general secretary Musahid Hussain Syed, who was also present at the news conference, said the party had introduced "made in Pakistan politics" and protected national interests.

The PML-Q is also opposed to US drone attacks in Pakistan’s tribal belt, he said.

The PML-Q was routed in the 2008 general election for its proximity to former military ruler Pervez Musharraf. However, the party is optimistic about its chances in the upcoming by-polls in Swat and Manshera.


First Published: Monday, January 18, 2010 - 21:23

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