We are not deterred by bomb blasts and we will definitely take part in elections
Joint Press Conference by the MQM, the PPP and the ANP leaders in the Karachi Pres Club
A consensus has been developed between Muttahida Quami Movement, Pakistan Peoples Party and Awami National Party that liberal and progressive parties are being kept out of the election process under a planned conspiracy in order to bring the right-wing parties in power. The western countries are giving support to the left-wing parties in the country, but the liberal and progressive parties have decided that they take part in the general elections and not surrender before extremist elements involved in carrying out bomb blasts.
These views were expressed by the MQM leader Haider Abbas Rizvi, the PPP leader Taj Haider and the ANP leader Bashir Jan in a joint press conference in the Karachi Press Club. Members of the Co-ordination Committee of the MQM Raza Haroon, Wasay Jalil, and Dr Sagheer Ahmed, PPP leaders Waqar Mehdi and Najmi Alam, and ANP leaders Altaf Advocate and others were also present on the occasion.
Leader of all three parties said the division between liberal and progress parties, and those who support extremism and fundamentalism has become abundantly clear, and a line has been drawn. They made it clear to the Pakistani and international establishment that they would not be intimidated and would not boycott the general elections under any condition.
Addressing the joint press conference, Haider Abbas Rizvi said that terrorists were killing workers of the MQM, the PPP and the ANP in a barbaric manner by carrying out bomb attacks on their election offices. Apparently, the terrorists had been given full freedom the caretaker government, and the election commission were not doing anything to guarantee a peaceful environment for elections.
Mr Rizvi said, “We do not want to fight anyone but if a war is imposed on us, the three parties would have the right to defend according to the UN Charter, social principles and Islamic teachings. The MQM, the ANP and the PPP firmly believe that there is no compulsion in religion, and they are completely against terrorism and extremism in the name of Islam.”
He said, “The western countries may pursue any policy about left-wing parties in the country, but they should remember that the liberal and progressive forces in Pakistan are yet alive, and their courage and determination remain undiminished. If they want to bring the left-wing parties in power for finding an exit route from Afghanistan in 2014, they should recall that they made hasty decisions in the past while leaving Afghanistan. Their decisions ultimately resulted in the tragedies of 9/11 and 7/7.”
He further said, “Mistakes of the past should not be repeated and decisions, that can have disastrous fallouts for the region, in particular, and the world in general, should not be taken.”
“Instead of looking towards religious extremists and their sympathizers, the western countries should urge on the election commission and the caretaker government to hold genuinely free and fair elections. A level playing field should be given to all political parties so that they may start canvassing their voters. It is an undeniable reality that currently the election campaign is being run in the Punjab only.”
He sympathized with the families who lost their loved-ones in bomb blasts and prayed for the speedy recovery of the injured.
Speaking on the occasion PPP leader Taj Haider said that the PPP, the ANP and the MQM could fight against terrorism. “If we can fight General Ziaul Haque, then we have the courage to fight his remnants.”
“The issue of extremism should be looked into in its proper perspective. This is not a law and order situation but rather an ideological division. On the one hand, are the liberal and progressive parties which are promoting peace and tolerance while on the other side of the spectrum are extremist and militant organizations, which are stopping our election campaign. Those parties which were described by terrorists as guarantors are openly running their election campaign.”
“Extremist and jihadi organizations were raised by the western dictatorship with the help of local dictatorship, and the entire region has been burning for the past thirty years because of this.”
He declared, “We want elections to be held on time, and we will take full part in elections.”
Speaking at the press conference the ANP leader Bashir Jan said, “The ANP believes that the solutions of problems being faced by the country lay in elections. The election commission could not enforce its laws, and election candidates were denigrated during the process of scrutiny. Representatives of banned outfits were cleared by as eligible.”
He said, “Instead of snatching democratic rights of the ANP, the PPP and the MQM by extremism and terrorism, equal opportunities should be given to them in order to determine popular support.”
He further said, “Terrorism continues unabated and no steps are being taken to establish peace and order giving rise to fears that the caretaker government, the election commission and the terrorists were pursuing common agenda.”
“Militant organizations are fixing posters in the city forbidding voting while their political wings are saying that casting votes are a jihad. People should take notice of these conflicting statements and reject their political wings for proving that they want to establish a liberal and moderate society in Pakistan.”
In the end leaders of the three parties gave answers to the questions asked by journalists.