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Pakistani courtís decision brings ripples in politics

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, Oct 21, IRNA -- The decision by the Pakistani Supreme Court that the elections were rigged in 1990 by the security institutions has opened a new debate about the role of security institutions in political affairs.

The ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) says the state money was used to block its imminent victory in the 1990 elections.

Prime Minister, Raja Pervez Ashraf, has vowed action against former army and intelligence chiefs for their involvement in rigging parliamentary elections in 1990 to deprive his Pakistan Peoples Party of victory.

He made the announcement hours after the Supreme Court ordered inquiry against former Army Chief, Aslam Beg, and ex-intelligence chief, Asad Durrani for distributing money among certain political leaders to stop PPP from coming to power.

There are questions about the approach of the PPP towards the highest judiciary. Critics say that the PPP refused for three years to accept repeated orders by the apex court to reopen graft cases against President Asif Ali Zardari, Co-chairman of the party.

The PPP will definitely use the court’s decision to gain sympathies of the people as the parliamentary election is fast approaching.

Next general elections are scheduled to take place in 2013 and after Eid a grand political alliance will take its practical shape.

The main opposition leader and former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is making efforts to win the support of small and nationalist parties.

President Asif Ali Zardari has claimed that the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) will win the next general elections. He has directed the PPP workers to start the preparations for the upcoming general elections.

In another major development several religious parties have announced that they have restored an election alliance but two former major allies stayed away.

The Mutahida Majlis Amal or MMA won dozens of parliamentary seats in the 2002 general elections and had also formed government in northwest Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

The alliance broke down when two major parties – Jamaat-e-Islami and Jamiat ulema-e-Islam (JUI-S) boycotted the 2008 elections under then military President Pervez Musharraf. The MMA’s components parties failed to secure many seats in the 2008 polls,

But four parties in the defunct MMA announced they have restored the alliance for the upcoming elections, due early next year.

Leader of his own faction of Jamiat ulem-e-Islam (JUI-F), Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman is set to become the head of the revived MMA.

Pakistan People’s Party-Sherpao Chairman Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao now will lead Qaumi Watan Party as he replaced the former with its flag and manifesto.

“We have unanimously decided to change the party name as Qaumi Watan Party and change its flag by replacing the green color with white one” He announced this while Addressing Party convention.

He also said that main mission of Qaumi Watan Party is the restoration of peace and resolving the problems being faced by Pakhtuns of this region.

In the wake of his anti-Awami National Party stance, Aftab Sherpao attracted many disgruntled nationalists and progressive elements in the last one-and-a-half years and is surrounded by a number of nationalist leaders from Balochistan as well as Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

By the end of the year, the PPP setup would have to announce the polls’ schedule in keeping with the electoral roadmap. And if the political parties themselves could not hammer out an agreement over the formation of a caretaker setup, the matter should be left for the Election Commission to decide as stipulated in the constitution.

**1771
Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 80379531



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