PDM rejects electoral reforms, AJK poll results

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“Nawaz Sharif will not return without getting treated”, says Shahbaz

Shujaat Hamza

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) chief Fazlur Rehman on Wednesday declared the electronic voting machine as the “simplest way to rig elections” as the alliance rejected the government’s “unilateral” electoral reforms and Azad Jammu and Kashmir’s election results.

The press conference came after the Opposition alliance met in Islamabad after a two-month hiatus, during which it decided to direct all its efforts in holding “free and fair elections in the country.”

The meeting’s participants unanimously agreed the country faces severe internal and external threats, while the incumbent government has “completely failed” in combating the prevailing threats, the PDM chief said.

“Pakistan is facing isolation due to the current regime’s policies,” the PDM chief said, slamming the government for its “failed” foreign policy, as Pakistan was not allowed to present its case during the UNSC meeting on Afghanistan.

“PDM believes the only way forward in Afghanistan is through an inclusive political solution; Pakistan aspires for a political and stable Afghanistan,” Fazl said.

Fazl said the PDM leaders took an in-depth review of the internal and external matters, after which, the meeting’s participants demanded that Opposition lawmakers should be taken into confidence over the situation in the neighbouring war-torn country.

“An important faction of the country is unaware of the situation as it is facts are being hidden from them,” the JUI-F chief said.

Speaking about the PDM’s next course of action, he said PDM’s steering committee would meet on August 21 in Islamabad, during which the parties will mull over the recommendations presented today after internal deliberations.  

“We rejected each and every electoral reform put forward by this selected government, and we believe that NAB and FIA have become political institutions, who have lost their standing, as they are being used against the Opposition,” he said.

The meeting also decided that Qaumi Watan Party’s chief Aftab Sherpao will be made the senior vice-president of the alliance, he said.

Taking over the press conference, Shahbaz said PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif’s medical treatment was underway in the UK, and a heart-related operation of his was crucial.

“He (Nawaz) will not return without getting treated; it is unfortunate that the government is politicising the health of a three time prime minister,” Shahbaz said.

The PML-N president reminded that several people had “stooped so low” that when Nawaz’s wife was on her death bed, they would make “absurd” comments about her health.