Strengthening election commission necessary for democracy: Siraj


Karachi: Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Amir Senator Sirajul Haq has said the recent by-polls in Lahore have once again proved that election in Pakistan is a game of billionaires and beyond the reach of common man. However, he said the only ray of hope to save democracy is to strengthen the role of the election commission of Pakistan and give it teeth so that it can disqualify the members who exceed the limits of expenses for election campaigns.

Talking to the editors and bureau chiefs at a luncheon here, he said his party believes in changing the fate of this country through democracy. He said they believe in using no-violent means in politics and are staunch supporters of a peaceful change. He said the dream of making Pakistan a true Islamic welfare state is yet to be materialized despite the country achieved independence more than a half century ago.

He said the Election Commission of Pakistan should be authorized to hold elections within the political parties of Pakistan. He said Jamaat e Islami regularly conducts its party elections at every level, but many other political parties are family fiefdoms where a common worker cannot dream to be elected as party head. He said in these parties leadership belongs to same families while the sons of workers would always remain as party workers. He said by bringing democracy inside our political parties we can change the political culture in Pakistan and make it more democratic. He said presently in many political parties a common worker cannot dare even to address directly to his party head. He said this type of strictness and class difference was not even found in the court of the Mughal emperors. He said political parties of Pakistan are the collective asset of Pakistan masses and we have to stop them turning into personal estates of a few elite families.

Sirajul Haq said Karachi is not only economic but also ideological hub of Pakistan. He said Karachi is the face of Pakistan. He said making Karachi peaceful and prosperous is tantamount to making Pakistan peaceful and prosperous. He supported the ongoing operation in Karachi. However, he said one day the operation has also to end, as perpetual operations are solution to no problems. He said Karachi needs solution to its problems on permanent basis. He supported the idea to improve failing civic infrastructure of Karachi on emergency basis.

He said the central and provincial governments should complete their full tenure and no government should be provided a change to be a ‘political martyr’. He said let the voters decide the fate of those parties that have failed to deliver through their votes. He said in Sindh the rulers are not ready to give powers to the local governments which are against the very sprit of the local governments as per the constitution of Pakistan. He said the performance of the provincial government of Sindh has remained very dismal and people are not satisfied with it.

He expressed serious concern on growing tension between Saudi Arabia and Iran and suggested that the governments of Pakistan and Turkey should play their due role to defuse this tension. To a question regarding the visit of the Prime Minister Mohammad Nawaz Sharif to the USA, he said he would consider it the biggest success of Nawaz Sharif if he could manage to get Dr Aafia Siddiqui repatriated to Pakistan.