MULTAN - Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan Secretary General Liaqat Baloch disclosed on Thursday that a contact between top leaderships of his party and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf was likely to take place on March 24 during which the issue of seat adjustment will be given final shape.

Addressing a news conference here at local JI office, he categorically declared that the JI would not become part of any electoral alliance and it would contest the upcoming polls independently on its own electoral sign. He added that the seat adjustments would, however, be made with religious parties, the PML-N and PTI. He said that the central shoora of the JI approved electoral manifesto after long considerations and it was decided in principle that no electoral alliance would be made with parties like the PPP, ANP, MQM and PML-Q. He said that serious dialogue with the PML-N, PTI and religious parties on seat adjustments was underway and it was hoped that all the parties would reach a consensus.

He was of the opinion that the country had no third or second option except elections. He added that all the parties had a strong consensus that no one would be allowed to ambush democracy or constitution. He said that any effort to block elections would be considered violation of constitution and this time both political parties and judiciary had consensus on it. He said that the Americans were going to withdraw their forces from Afghanistan during next two years and the region would face new challenges during this period. “Only army cannot counter these issues. We need a broad based consensus,” he suggested.

He lashed out at MQM, saying masses’ mandate in Karachi was always snatched at gunpoint. He maintained that the establishment utilized Karachi as a liver to destabilise national politics. “It is our priority to settle the issue of Karachi through ballot and not bullet,” he added.

Referring to dissolution of assemblies, he said that the masses took a sigh of relief as if the jinx was over. He said that the MQM and PPP jointly brought about a person for caretaker chief minister office, who was tainted with multiple corruption and abuse of power charges. He said that the political parties should exhibit political wisdom on the issue of nomination of caretaker prime minister and chief minister in Punjab. He suggested the name of justice (r) Nasir Aslam Zahid for caretaker prime minister, saying he was an appropriate choice.

He demanded Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to withdraw all state resources including vehicles, protocol and houses from former ministers and heads of different parliamentary committees. “If they continue to enjoy these facilities, the conventional traditions of rigging polls and influencing the results will also remain alive,” he warned. He said that today judiciary was free and ECP was trust worthy while on the other hand presidency stood alone. He stressed upon political parties to strengthen ECP by abiding by the code of conduct set by the ECP.

Dubbing PPP’s campaigns for new provinces as a drama, he said that it made the issue further complex because of its malice. He said that all federal and provincial governments badly failed to deliver during the last five years. “The gas and electricity crises worsened while corruption and looting of national resources reached at their peak. Billions of rupees were looted from national exchequer,” he maintained.

Other JI leaders Rao Zafar Iqbal, Asif Mahmood Akhwani, Kanwar Siddique and Dr Ashraf Ali Atique were also present on the occasion.