Impossible To Run Election Campaign In KP, Balochistan Right Now, Says Fazl

Fazal believes that the situation is as bad as it was back in 2014 when the APS Peshawar attack had taken place.

Fazal Ur Rehman

Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam – Fazl (JUI-F) leader Maulana Fazal ur Rehman has on Thursday said that the people of Punjab have no idea what’s happening in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Balochistan. He says it’s impossible right now to run election campaigns in those two provinces.

Talking to journalists in Lahore about the current political situation in the country, Fazal said that it was nearly impossible to hold elections in KP with the erstwhile FATA regions and the adjacent areas practically under Taliban control.

“If the government announces a scheme for FATA districts, it will have to pay the Taliban commander a 10 percent cut in the scheme. If they don’t do it, their equipment will be set on fire and they won’t let the government work,” said the JUI-F chief.

He further added that it was impossible to run an effective election campaign in Chitral and the adjacent areas. No candidate can openly ask for votes in the villages because the TTP demands that the FATA districts’ tribal status must be restored, otherwise they won’t let the elections take place.

“They will block the election and they won’t do it with political slogans; they will take up arms for it.”

Fazal believes that the situation is as bad as it was back in 2014 when the APS Peshawar attack had taken place. “If you hold the elections under these circumstances, forget about campaigning in KP and Balochistan. You can still hold the elections there but if you want a free and fair, transparent election in these areas, how will the voters make it to the polling stations under these conditions?”

However, the JUI-F chief categorically said that holding the elections was inevitable. He said the elections were like life and blood for Pakistan but we must not forget what’s happening in KP and Balochistan. “We’re talking about half the country here. An election with no campaign in 50 percent of the country is not an election,” he added.

The meeting was attended by senior journalists in Lahore including Iftikhar Ahmed, Mansoor Ali Khan, Mujib ur Rehman Shami, Hafeezullah Niazi, Muzamal Suharwardy, Naveed Chaudhry and others.