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Polls boycott if demands not met, says Nawaz 
No patch-up with PML-Q; president visited Saudia Arabia to ‘block my return’
LAHORE: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz chief and former prime minister Nawaz Sharif on Monday said his party did not want to boycott the polls but there was little else they could do when the government was pushing them to the wall. 

Addressing his first news conference at his Model Town residence after his return to Pakistan, he said that he would never like to become the prime minister under Gen Pervez Musharraf and could not even think of reconciliation with the PML-Q. 

PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif, Sar Anjam Khan, Pervaiz Rashid, Khawaja Saad Rafique, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq and Mian Marghub were also present on the occasion. The former prime minister said the caretaker government was being run by ‘remote control,’ adding that the whole game was manipulated in favour of the ‘king’s party’. He said there was no possibility of holding fair or transparent elections under the prevailing circumstances as the Election Commission was partial and the judges were under house arrest. 

He said the PML-N wanted the pre-Nov 3 position and the rule of law. “It is our demand that the emergency should be lifted and the deposed judges reinstated.” Without reinstating the sacked judges, he said, the lifting of emergency would not bring any change. 

About the situation in the tribal areas, Nawaz said problems were not solved rather they increased under dictatorships. He said Gen Pervez Musharraf had twice imposed ‘martial law’ in the country. He said he had made no deal with any dictator and would not like to be the prime minister under Gen Musharraf. 

To a question about the election boycott, he said that with the Constitution held in abeyance and emergency rule prevailing, the option was open. He said the final decision would be taken after a meeting of the All Pakistan Democratic Movement (APDM) on Nov 29. 

About the possibility of an alliance with the PPP, the PML-N leader said their party had no election alliance with the PPP but he had been in contact with PPP Chairperson Benazir Bhutto for a joint struggle against dictatorship. 

He ruled out any reconciliation with the PML-Q. However, he said the PML-N was not against all the PML-Q members and those who did not harm or conspire against the PML-N could be considered. 

Replying to a question about Pir Pagaro, he said that he held him in great esteem. Calling him a seasoned politician, Nawaz said his party had no conflict with him. The former premier appreciated the US role, saying that by urging the Pakistan government to end the emergency and reinstate the deposed judges, the US had supported the people of Pakistan. 

When asked who could be the PML-N candidate for premiership given the third-time restriction on being the PM, Nawaz said it could be anybody including Shahbaz Sharif. He said his party opposed all kinds of extremism and terrorism, adding such problems happened mostly under dictatorial rule. He said problems also existed during his rule but they were tackled through proper planning. 

He also criticised the recent curbs on the media and expressed solidarity with GEO TV. He paid tributes to the judges who refused to take oath under the PCO and mediapersons for their commitment during the crisis. Earlier, addressing workers in the early hours of Sunday at the party office on Nesbit Road on his way to Data Darbar from the airport, Nawaz said he had not compromised with the dictator for the last seven year in exile. “We are here without any deal with the dictators and we have stuck to our October 12, 1999, stance,” he said. 

The PML-N leader said it was during the government of a dictator that Pakistan split into two parts in 1971. He said Pakistan became an atomic power and the then Indian prime minister visited Pakistan during his democratic government. He said the Indian PM was not ready to talk with Pakistan but they could not ignore Pakistan after it went nuclear. 

The former premier said the government was being run after taking US dictation. “The military government has shaken the country and now we all have to make our best efforts to strengthen it again,” Nawaz said. 

He said he saw great promise in the country’s educated youth, with degrees in their hands but no employment as Army officials had taken over all the posts. For how long will the youth remain unemployed, he questioned. 

Addressing another reception on his way to Data Darbar, the PML-N Quaid said he paid tribute to the enthusiasm of Lahorites. “Nawaz and Shahbaz are again before you. Promise me that you will change the destiny of Pakistan along with us,” he said. He said it was time for Tahajjud prayers so offer prayers and seek from Allah Almighty the sovereignty of Pakistan, escape from dictatorship, national reconstruction. He asked the audience to also wake up the heedless. 

He said Pakistan was the only country where even judges were kept in detention. “One person is holding the judiciary and the Supreme Court hostage only to safeguard his interests and keep his power,” Nawaz said. He said the coming days would be decisive for the country’s future. 

On his way to Data Darbar, Nawaz received a warm welcome. He was showered with rose petals and currency notes as dozens of pigeons were released. The Sharif brothers continued to wave their hands all the way, besides thanking the people for such an enthusiastic reception. 

Shahbaz Sharif in his address at 4:45am said that during their exile the country was never out of their thoughts. Later, talking to The News at the Aiwan Adl while filing nomination papers, Nawaz hinted at forming an election alliance with the APDM, saying there could be seat adjustments with the allies. He said they wanted to strengthen the APDM. 

He again ruled out any alliance with the PML-Q, saying even the mention of that party pained him. About the manifesto of his party, he said he had a single-point agenda of restoration of democracy to the pre-November 3 position. 

Nawaz said there could not be any relationship with President Musharraf even after he doffed his uniform, adding the uniform was no more an issue. “The real issues are the immediate restoration of the judiciary and the lifting of emergency,” he added. 

He praised the lawyers’ movement against President Musharraf. He said he had already delivered his message for launching a struggle against dictatorship. Nawaz said he had filed his nomination papers from NA 120 and “let’s see where we end”. 

Agencies add: Nawaz Sharif said the opposition should use the option of boycotting the general elections in case a level-playing field was not provided to it. “We believe in reconciliation and Pakistan’s welfare, not in confrontation; the people at the helm of affairs need to understand the feelings of the people and act according to their aspirations to remove emergency and restore the rule of law,” he said. 

He said Gen Musharraf had visited Saudi Arabia to block his homecoming. He said he had returned to Pakistan through the efforts of King Abdullah. “I have come back to save the country. I have not returned under any deal nor has my homecoming been made possible under US pressure,” he said. He demanded that the US mount pressure on the government to establish an independent judiciary besides the lifting of emergency. 

Benazir files papers from Khairpur, Larkana 
Says she is ready to form alliance with Nawaz

KHAIRPUR: PPP Chairperson Benazir Bhutto filed her nomination papers for NA-207 Khairpur on Monday. 

Talking to reporters on the occasion, she said Nawaz Sharifís return to the country was a great achievement for the PPP, claiming that she had asked the rulers not to hinder Nawaz Sharifís return. She said Nawaz had not contacted her so far, while she had spoken to him by telephone when he was deported. 

Referring to the January 8 elections, Benazir expressed fears that there would be rigging because the Election Commission is not independent. However, the PPP would not boycott the polls and would take part in the election under protest and on the demand of the people, she said. 

Benazir said the PPP is struggling for the restoration of democracy and the Constitution, as well as the supremacy of the judiciary and the freedom of the press. Replying to a question Benazir said she did not know whether Nawaz came to the country under a deal. 

Claiming that her party will sweep the elections if they were fair and free, she said seat adjustments could be made with the PML-N if Nawaz contacted her. Benazir alleged that the caretaker government was not impartial and was using the government machinery to further the former rulersí interests. 

Agencies add: Benazir also filed nomination papers for National Assembly seat of Larkana NA-204 (Old Larkana-I). Accompanied by a large number of supporters and leaders, she arrived at the office of the returning officer in Larkana to submit her nomination papers. 

Benazir filed three nomination papers separately with the returning officer of NA-204 (Old Larkana-I). Mazher Ali Junejo and Zulkarnain Abro advocate are the proposer and seconder in the first nomination form. In the second nomination form Sajjad Ali Bhatti advocate and Aftab Bhutto are proper and seconder, and in third paper Barkat Ali Shaikh and Asif Raza Shaikh are proposer and seconder. 

Muhammad Anwar Bhutto of the PPP filed his nomination papers for NA-204 (Old Larkana-I) as a covering candidate of Benazir. Besides, former district Nazim Larkana Khursheed Ahmed Junejo of the PPP also submitted his nomination papers for NA-204 (Old Larkana-I) as a covering candidate of Benazir. 

Benazir told reporters in Larkana that she was ready to form an alliance with Nawaz Sharif. "We are ready to forge an alliance with all moderate political parties," she told reporters in Larkana. "We welcome Nawaz Sharif's return to Pakistan. It will strengthen the democratic and political culture."

"We are concerned that elections will be rigged but we don't want to leave the field empty," she explained, as supporters chanted outside. Benazir said an alliance of moderate parties was also being pushed by the United States. 

"In the past the United States would support dictatorships but now it is supporting democratic forces, which is a sign of encouragement for all the democracy-loving people," she added. Benazir filed papers on Sunday for a women-only seat in Karachi.

Nomination papers filing 
Nawaz, Shahbaz step into the ring
LAHORE: Former Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif and former Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif on Monday submitted their nomination papers for elections on national and provincial assembly seats. 

Nawaz Sharif would contest from NA-120 while Shahbaz has filed his papers from NA-119 and PP-141/142. Hamza Shahbaz filed papers from NA-119 and PP-142 as covering candidate for his father, Shahbaz Sharif. Hamza also filed papers from PP-137 and PP-138. 

Moonis Elahi son of former Punjab CM Pervez Elahi filed papers from PP-152 and his brother, Rasikh Elahi, filed nomination papers from PP-152 as covering candidate of Moonis Elahi. 

As Monday was the last day of filing nomination papers, a large number of political leaders, their supporters and other candidates gathered at the offices of returning officers. The Election Commission of Pakistan had already directed the returning officers to receive nomination papers until 12 midnight. 

Among other prominent leaders who filed their papers are Jahangir Badr from NA-120 and PP-142. His son, Zulfiqar Ali Badr, from NA-127 and from PP-153. Liaquat Baloch of JI from NA-126, Farid Paracha NA-121, acting president PML-N Makhdoom Javed Hashmi NA-123, Muhammad Pervez Malik NA-120 and NA-121, Ahsanullah Waqas NA-127, Salman Butt PP-149 and NA-122, Amirul Azeem PP-144 and PP-147, Muhammad Ehsan Ganjial PP-153, Rana Mashhood PP-149, Tariq Banday NA-119 and PP-141 and Zaeem Qadri NA-123 and NA-122.

Ziaullah Khan Manj filed his papers from NA-125, Umar Misbahur Rehman NA-122, Asif Saeed Kirmani PP-147, Samina Khalid Ghurki NA-130, Ashiq Dial NA-130, Rana Tajamal NA-130, Tariq Shabbir NA-129, Mian Muhammad Azhar NA-118, Asif Hashmi NA-118, Malik Khalid Pervez NA-128, Col Rana Muhammad Tariq (retired) NA- 128, Zakirullah Mujahid NA-128, Azizur Rehman Chann PP 144, Sheikh Idrees NA-126, Rohail Asghar NA-124, Naveed Ashiq Diyal NA-130, Mian Misbahur Rehman NA-122, Javed Amin Khan NA-125, Faisal Rasool NA-125, Rafiuddin NA-125, Advocate Ramazan Chaudhry NA-129, Muhammad Azhar Siddique advocate NA-124/PP-148, Mian Fayaz PP-151, Khurram Asghar NA-145, Ali Asghar PP-146, Muhammad Jahangir PP-160, Rana Muhammad Tariq PP-161, Naveed Ashiq Diyal PP-157, Ijaz Qayum Butt PP-147, Shakil Ahmad Pasha PP-155, Chaudhry Waqar PP-156, Muhammad Aslam Bhatti PP-156, Yasin Rasool PP-155, Dr Ilyas PP-155, Yaqoob Bhatti PP-155, Muhammad Aslam Bhatti PP-156, Rana Khalid PP-159 and Malik Riaz from NA 118. 

Kurd to confront Rashid in both constituencies 

RAWALPINDI: In a dramatic move Ali Ahmed Kurd, the firebrand lawyer who shot into prominence during the movement for the restoration of the chief justice of Pakistan, filed nomination papers on Monday to contest elections to the National Assembly from NA-55 and NA-56 in downtown Rawalpindi, both the constituencies of the former railways minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed.

Ali Ahmed Kurd was brought in police custody from Adiala Jail. Upon his arrival in the District Courts, the lawyers of Rawalpindi Bar Association showered rose petals on him, wildly cheered and raised slogans in his favour. 

Some lawyers lifted him on their shoulders. Punjab Police and jail officials were also present on the occasion. Ali Ahmed Kurd said that the lawyers' community including those of the District Bar Rawalpindi would continue their struggle for democracy and rule of law in the country. 

He was of the view that every political party should boycott elections. "It is impossible that free, fair and transparent elections can be held under dictatorial rule," he added. SHO Civil Lines Azhar Shah completed all formalities of filing nomination papers of Ali Ahmed Kurd. He brought nomination papers for him and also deposited fee of papers in the District Courts.

SHO Civil Lines told 'The News' that Ali Ahmed Kurd was in police custody due to which police helped in filing his nomination papers and also paid fee on his behalf. Joint Secretary RBA Shahbaz Rajpoot told 'The News' that the government wanted to sabotage the unity of lawyers by adopting such tactics. 

He said that lawyers including Ali Ahmed Kurd condemned the behaviour of the government and did not accept the fee deposited by the police. He said that Ali Ahmed Kurd did not know the reality as to who had submitted his fee and brought nomination papers for him. Online adds: Ali Ahmed Kurd was brought from Jhelum jail to Rawalpindi on Monday. After he had filed his nomination papers, he was shifted to Quetta. 

PPP leader seeks ticket 

NOWSHERA: President Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Nowshera Saleemullah Khan has demanded of party’s chairperson to give party ticket to Alamzeb Khan advocate for PF-16. Otherwise they would boycott the election on the said constituency, he added. Addressing a press conference here on Monday, he said Alamzeb Khan had rendered great sacrifices for the party and he deserved to be the party’s candidate from the constituency. 

Filing of nomination papers 
Over 400 beat deadline
KARACHI: Over 400 nominees, including stalwarts of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA), other mainstream political parties as well as private candidates filed their nomination papers for both national and provincial assemblies’ constituencies in Karachi on the last day for filing nomination papers for the 2008 general elections. 

Similarly, around 110 nominees had filed their papers for the reserved seats at the Provincial Election Commission offices including former PPP MNA Fauzia Wahab, former Deputy-Speaker, Sindh Assembly, Rahila Tiwana, and her sister Saba Tiwana.

Prominent among those who filed their nomination papers today were former Sindh Adviser, Home, Waseem Akhtar of the MQM, who filed his papers for NA-151, Khushbakht Shujaat of the MQM for NA-252, and Anwar Alam of the MQM for PS-106. Former MNA Haider Abbas Rizvi, also of the MQM, for NA 241. 

The MMA’s candidate Muhammad Hussain Mehnti filed his nomination papers for NA-252, while Asadullah Bhutto for NA-253, Shabir Abu Talib for NA-249 and PS-110, Muhammad Laiq Khan for NA-241 and Qari Usman for NA-239 and NA-240.

Tariq Khan of PML-N filed his nomination papers for PS-128 while PPP leader Saeed Ghani filed his nomination papers for contesting polls from NA-251. A heavy crowd of supporters of nominees intending to file their nomination papers was seen at the City Courts on the last day, chanting slogans in favour of their leaders and looking optimistic about their success in the 2008 general elections.

Meanwhile, the Pakistan Muslim League-Q on Monday issued the final list of its ticket holders for the National and Sindh Assemblies. 

MMA may field candidates 

KARACHI: The Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA), Sindh chapter, has announced that, while taking on-board all its component parties, it will field its candidates for contesting the general polls on all the seats of the national and provincial legislatures in the province. 

A recently concluded meeting of the parliamentary board of the MMA Sindh chapter decided that, like the general elections of 2002, all the component religious parties of the MMA would retain the platform of an alliance as well as its election symbol of ‘book’ for contesting the upcoming general polls. Sindh President of MMA Maulana Asadullah Bhutto chaired the meeting. 

The parliamentary board for the award of tickets to candidates evolved a formula based on the performance of each of the component parties in winning the seats of the national and Sindh assemblies in the 2002 polls. The nomination of MMA’s candidates from Sindh would be sent to the central parliamentary board of the alliance for finalisation of names. 

Expatriate MQM candidates file papers 

KARACHI: The MQM’s overseas candidates have arrived in Karachi to file nomination papers for the national and provincial assembly seats.

Informed sources in the MQM told The News that Dr Nadeem Ahsan from Canada has filed his nomination papers for a National Assembly seat. Raza Haroon from the MQM’s International Secretariat, London, has filed for a provincial assembly seat.

A senior member of the MQM, Tayab Hussain, has filed for a National Assembly seat from Hyderabad. Farhat Khan Haider from the US has filed nomination papers for both National and provincial assembly seats. 

Abdul Moid Siddiqi from London, ex-member KWSB when Dr Farooq Sattar was senior minister in Sindh, has also filed for a provincial assembly seat. Salahuddin, from one of the Gulf countries, has filed for both National and provincial assembly seats. Askari Taqvi from London has filed for a provincial assembly seat. The sources said that the nomination papers filing process was continuing and some more candidates are in pipeline.

188 file nomination papers for 17 NA, 65 PA seats in Balochistan 

QUETTA: So far 52 candidates belonging to various political parties and independents filed nomination papers for 17 National Assembly and 136 candidates for 65 seats of provincial Assembly on Monday. 

Hafiz Fazal Muhammad Barech of MMA, Vice Chairman Pakistan Bar Council Ali Ahmed Kurd, former governor Balochistan Fazal Agha of PML-Q, Nasir Ali Shah, Saadat Ali, Amannullah Shadezai of Jamat Islami, 

Inwarul Haq of PML-Q, Abdul Aziz Khilji of JUI, Shafiq Ahmed Khan of PPP, Commander Khudai Dad Khan of ANP, Maulana Abdul Haq Hashmi of JI and others filed nomination papers for NA-259 Quetta.

Similarly, Abdul Wali Kakar of BNP-M, Sardar Raza Muhammad Barech and Abdul Rauf of PkMAP, Abdul Rehman Bazai of PML-Q and Malik Sikandar Advocate of JUI filed papers for NA 260 Quetta-cum-Noshki-cum-Chagai.

Syed Muhammad Ali, Jamil Ramzan, Muhammad Din, Muhammad Yousaf, Maulana Abdul Haq Hashmi, Dr. Muhammad Shams, William John, Malik Muhammad Anwar Kasi, Zahid Yousaf, Muhammad Dawood Khan, Muhammad Salim Batt, Malik Muhammad Akram, Shafiq Ahmed Khan, Muhammad Ali, Sajid Qadir Jisqani, Abdul Wahab, Nasimullah Khan, Jahanzeb Khan, Muhammad Nasim Kashmiri, Dr. Ali Ahmed, Muhammad ismail Gujjar, Abdul Sadiq, Nasibullah, Muhammad Anwar Khan, Liaqat Ali, Amanullah Kakar, Allah Dad Khan, Nasibullah Khan, Akhtar Hussein Lango, Abid Lehri, Ali Madad Jattak, Abdul Hakim, Muhammad Iqbal, Muhammad Mirwani, Saeed Umar Shah, Muhammad Ashraf Kakar, Manzoor Shahwani, Mir Hussein Ahmed, Noor Khan Nasar, Samuel, Muhammad Idrees, Muhammad Akhtar, Agha Faisal Dawood, Agha Muhammad Umar Khan, Mir Qadir Bakhsh, Tanveer Aslam Shahwani, Abdul Ghani Mishwani, Mir Wali Qalandrani, Nasrullah Khan, Malik Nasibullah, Mir Jan Muhammad Lehri, Amir Hamza, Abdul rauf Kurd, Jamil Ahmed Rind, Abdul Wahid Shahwani, Mir Wali Muhammad Lehri, Nasir Ahmed Shahwani, Abdul Ghaffar Bangulzai, Nazar Muhammad Mengal, Syed Habibullah Shah, Ghulam Rasool, Mir Muhammad Imran Bangulzai and others filed nomination papers for six seats of provincial assembly from Quetta.

So far nine candidates filed their nomination papers for NA-269 and eighteen for three Provincial Assembly seats from Khuzdar. Those who filed nomination papers for NA-269 include Sardar Sanaullah Zehri, Mir Hasil Khan Bizenjo and Mir Muhammad Ayub Jattak of National Party, former MNA Mir Abdul Rauf Mengal of BNP-M, Faizuddin Sasoli and Imran Jattak of PPP, Mir Attaur Rehman Mengal of PML-Q, Mufti Abdul Qadir Shahwani and Silahuddin of MQM, Sardar Sanaullah Zehri and Agha Shakeel Durrani of NP, Muhammad Anwar of BNP-A, Muhammad Rahim of MMA and Qazi Nazir Ahmed of PPP filed their papers for PB-33.

Similarly, Habib Qadir Zehri of PPP, Maulana Muhammad Qasim and Movl Noor of JUP, Sardar Hayat Khan Sajidi and Sardar Nasrullah Sasoli of PML-Q, Abdul Wahid Baloch and Muhammad Aslam Bizenjo of NP, Maulana Faiz Muhammad of MMA, Mir Zaffarullah Zehri and Mir Isararullah Zehri of BNP-A and Arbab Myhmmad Nawaz Mengal of BNP-M filed their nomination papers for PB-34/I. Ali Ahmed Mosyani of PPP and Muhammad Neem filed their papers for PB-35/II.

Seventeen candidates belonging to various political organizations filed their nomination papers for PB-15 from Musakhail. Those who filed their papers include Sardar Asmatullah Khan of PML-Q, Sher Hassan, Haji Dadan Khan, Haji Ghulam Qadir Anjum, Zahir Khan Malezai, Jalil Ahmed, Sardar Qasim Khan, Sardar Haider Khan, Haji Sirajuddin, Syed hamidullah Shah, Dr Asadullah Buzdar, Jalat Khan Essot, Molvi Muhammad Sarwar of JUI, Malik nasibullah, Molvi Sher Muhammad, Molvi Najmuddin and Molvi Abdul Lateef.

Except Asmatullah and Molvi Sarwar rest of the candidates would contest elections independently.

Four candidates filed nomination papers for NA-264 and 11 for PB-18 Zhob and PB-19 Sherani. Maulana Muhammad Khan Sherani of MMA, Nawab Ayaz Khan Jogezai of PkMAP, Maulana Asmaullah of MMA and Sheikh Jaffar Khan Mandokhail of PML-Q filed nomination papers for NA-264.

Jaffar Mandokhail of PML-Q, Abdul Sattar Mandokhail (Independent) Sheikh Muhammad Yar Khan of ANP, Dr. Muhammad Shah of PkMAP and Habibur Rehman Kakar of PPP filed papers for PB-19.

Similarly, Nasim Babar (Independent), Qazi Ahmed Khosti, Lal Gul Kakar, Abdul khaliq Bashar Dost of MMA, Imran Shah of PkMAp and Amanullah Haripal of ANP filed papers for PB-18. As many as 12 candidates filed nomination papers for one NA and 25 others for two PA seats from Chaman.

Those who filed papers for NA-262 include Muhammad Khan Achakzai of PkMAP, Janan (Independent) Naseer Ahmed Bacha Khan of PML-Q, Murad Khan (Independent), Ghulam Rabbani and Nazzar Muhammad of PPP, Rozud Din, Masawir Agha, Muhammad Ghulam Haider of MMA, Muhammad Dawood and Muhammad Usman of ANP and Lala Jan (Independent).

Ghausullah, Hidayatullah, Maulana Muhammad Haneef, Maulana Abdul Haq of MMA, Naseer Ahmed Bacha Khan of PML-Q, Abdul Khaliq (Independent), Asghar Khan of ANP, Attaullah (Independent) and Lala Jan (Independent) will contest elections from PB-11 Chaman.

Similarly, from PB-13 Maolvi Fateh Muhammad of MMA, Dr. Hamid Achakzai and Abdul Qahar Wadan of PkMAP, Engineer Zamrak Khan, of ANP, Fazal Kareem of PPP and Molvi Habibullah (Independent) filed nomination forms.

Malik Ameer Jan, Haji Muhammad Nawaz and Hamidullah of MMA, Abdul Ali and Hidayatullah (Independent) filed nomination forms for PB-12 Chaman. Process of filing of nomination form will continue till 12 pm midnight. 

PPP to oppose poll postponement 

HYDERABAD: Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) would decide to boycott or not the general elections of 2008 after discussing the matter with other opposition parties, however, the party would resist any attempt to postpone the elections, said Makhdoom Amin Fahim, the vice chairman of PPP, here on Monday.

He was talking to the journalists after filling his nomination papers at the office of the returning officer, Hyderabad. He said the comeback of Nawaz Sharif was a good omen. Amin Fahim doubted if the elections under the Musharraf regime would be free, fair and transparent.

About boycotting the elections, he said decision in this regard would be made after taking other opposition parties into confidence, adding the PPP was in contact with opposition leaders including Qazi Hussein Ahmed, Fazlur Rahman, Mahmood Achakzai and others. He said any decision would only be taken by keeping in view the aspirations of the people of Pakistan.

The PPP leader said he strictly followed party discipline and any seat adjustment with any political party was possible when the central executive committee of the party decided for the same. He categorically made it clear that his party would resist and oppose any move towards the postponement of general elections.

Amin Fahim also hoped that meeting between Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif would take place soon. He said that leaders of PPPP Patriots would not be allowed to return to the party and said the Election Commission would decide whether to hold elections under the Army supervision or not. He repeated the party stance that powers of Nazims must be curtailed till the elections were over as they were bent upon to influence the elections results. 

MQM fields candidates for Dadu, Jamshoro seats 

JAMSHORO: Candidates supported by their respective political parties and independent ones submitted their nomination papers at the offices of returning officers of Dadu and Jamshoro districts on Monday, the last day for submitting the nomination forms. 

PPP's former law minister Pir Mazhar ul Haque, Raees Ghulam Ali Shahani of MQM, Mumtaz Ali Leghari of PML-F, Syed Muhammad Shah of PML-Q, Abdul Aziz Rajput of PML-N, Pir Najeebullah of PML-Q, Nawab Ali Solangi of Sindh United Party and some independent candidates submitted nominations forms for PS-74 Dadu. 

Syed Ghulam Ali Shah of PPP, Banda Ali Leghari of PML-Q, and Shamsuddin Bahoto of PML-N submitted their nomination forms for PS-75 Johi. Rafique Ahmed Jamali of PPP, Liaquat Ali Jatoi of PML-Q, Muhammad Yaqub Lakhair of PML-N, Hussain Bakhsh Solangi of MQM, Ahmed Khan Lund of PML-F and some independent candidates are to contest for NA-233 Dadu and Johi. Liaquat Ali Jatoi and Sadaqat Ali Jatoi of PML-Q, Qazi Shafique Ahmed Mahesar and Talat Ahmed Mahesar of PPP, Hafiz Muhammad Amin of JUI and some independent candidates have also submitted their nomination forms for NA-233. 

Faiz Butt of PPP, Ehsan Jatoi of PML-Q, and Muhammad Yaqub Lakhair of PML-N have submitted papers for PS-77 Mehar. Ex federal minister Haji Zafarullah Leghari of PPP, Sadaqat Ali Jatoi of PML-Q, and Ghulam Hyder Arain of PML-N submitted their nomination papers for PS 76 Khairpur Nathan Shah. 

Syed Murad Ali Shah of PPP, Sardar Chakar Khan Shahani of PML-Q and Syed Jalal Mehmood Shah of SUP have submitted nomination forms for PS-73 Sehwan. Dr Sikandar Ali Shoro of PPP has submitted his nomination form for PS-72 Kotri, Syed Asif Ali of PPP, and Dr Deya Raam of Malik Group have submitted papers for PS-71 Thano Bula Khan. Nawab Abdul Ghani Talpur of PPP has submitted nomination papers for NA-231 Kotri, Thano Bula Khan and Sehwan.

STPP boycotts elections under emergency 

HYDERABAD: Sindh Taraqi Pasand Party (STPP), a component party of All Parties Democratic Movement (ADPM), here on Monday announced to boycott the general elections of 2008 and directed its candidates not to submit nomination papers.

Chairman STPP Dr Qadir Magsi in a statement issued to the national press on Monday made such announcement, saying his party would not take part in the elections being held under a state of emergency, adding it was beyond doubt that the election could be held free and fair while the Constitution was suspended and curbs on the media and judiciary continued unaccounted. He said the STPP would not contest the general election until and unless the Musharraf regime ended, as elections under him would not be transparent. Dr Magsi said Nawaz Sharif's return would strengthen the struggle for democracy and restoration of the Constitution, adding participating in the election process under Musharraf would validate his regime. He said the APDM has taken principled stand regarding the boycott of elections in its meeting on November 24 and final decision would be announced in a meeting being held today (Nov 27). 

PTI leaders burn nomination papers 

LAHORE: CANDIDATES of the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) on Monday burnt their nomination papers outside Aiwan-e-Adal in protest against holding of elections under emergency.

Those whose nomination papers were burnt included Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf chairman Imran Khan, Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf Punjab president Ahsan Rasheed, Shahid Zulfiqar, Dr Shahid, Saeed Iqbal Mayo, Tahir Ashraf Bara, Bashir Ahmed Chaudhry, Iftikhar Baloch, Hamid Khan advocate, Tariq Farooq Mirza, Sayed Shadab Jafri, Javed Iqbal, Yasir Gilani, Sheikh Safdar, Mian Mehmood Rasheed, Muhammad Ameen Zaki, Abdul Karim, Nadeem Yousaf, Umar Sarfraz Cheema, Naeem Advocate, Shahid Saleem, Professor Ishtiaq, Fiaz Alam, Ahsan Rasheed, Chaudhry Ijaz and Ghazanfar. 

Ahsan Rasheed speaking at the occasion strongly condemned the holding of election under emergency. He called elections a farce, saying the elections were merely a selection process. He said transparent elections were not present with present government in power. He urged all opposition parties to boycott elections. 

Imran tears up nomination papers, advocates poll boycott 

ISLAMABAD: Chairman Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaaf Imran Khan has asked the opposition parties not to take part in the elections being held under the Provisional Constitution Order (PCO), saying if they did, it would amount to treason with the masses.

Speaking at a news conference at the party's central secretariat, on Monday, Imran tore apart copies of the nomination papers, saying he could not be part of a fraud election. I cannot thump desks again in parliament for the entire four years, he said.

Imran Khan hoped that Nawaz Sharif, with whom he had talked earlier in the day about the current political situation, would also announce boycott of the elections. "If the politicians don't take a joint stand now by boycotting the upcoming elections, their conduct will be tantamount to a treason with the masses," he emphatically declared.

Imran applauded the pre-Nov 3 judiciary for taking a principled stand and for delivering justice for the first time in 60 years. He was all praise for the lawyers, the media persons and civil society for siding with the judges, who had refused to take oath under the PCO.

The PTI leader asked the All Parties Democratic Movement component parties to stay away from what he called the "trap of elections", as their participation would legitimise the illegal and unconstitutional actions of General Musharraf. Imran brushed aside the PPP decision of taking part in the elections under the pretext of "not leaving the field open for the PML," saying they had reaped the benefits of elections' boycott in 1985. 

"After just three years, they were in a position to form government," he recalled. Substantiating his viewpoint on the boycott of elections, Imran contended that it was time for the politicians to bury the "doctrine of necessity" once for all. The PTI leader said he foresaw no chances of judiciary being revived to its pre-November 3 status. He expressed disappointment at the APDM leaders' filing of nomination papers despite a boycott threat. At a meeting the other day, the APDM had announced boycott of the elections, giving President General Musharraf four days to restore the judiciary's position to the pre-emergency level. 

Online adds: Imran Khan expressing his full confidence in Muhammad Nawaz Sharif said that he would not take part in election. He said that Nawaz Sharif would not take part in election. Imran said three senior PML-N central leaders had assured during the APDM meeting that he would not become part of the 'illegal' election. 

Imran Khan said All Parties Democratic Alliance has set deadline of November 29 for the lifting of emergency and reinstatement of judges, otherwise they would boycott the general elections. 

He further said that if judiciary gets independent, then the present election would lose its credibility. And the government would have to issue new election schedule. Similarly, he said, if a party tried to take part in election under the Provincial Constitution Order then it would be betrayal to judiciary and masses. 

Meanwhile, Imran Khan visited PIMS to inquire about the health of the former president of Supreme Court Bar Association and a prominent leader of the lawyers' movement, Munir A Malik at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). PTI chief along with Federal Minister for Human Rights Ansar Burney enquired about his health. He remained with him for sometime and prayed for his early recovery. Malik has been shifted to the ICU after his condition deteriorated over the weekend. 

EC rules out theft of ballot papers 

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan on Monday ruled out the possibility of theft or unauthorised provision of ballot papers to any candidate.

"There is a fool-proof security system to ttake care of election-related materials. Ballot papers, which are to be printed after December 16 will be kept with complete secrecy," maintained the ECP Secretary Kanwar Muhammad Dilshad.

Talking to The News, the commission secretary made these remarks when his attention was drawn to the allegation by Pakistan Peoples Party Chairperson Benazir Bhutto. The PPP leader, who expressed her apprehensions in this context the other day and also afterwards, wrote to the Election Commission, said that under a plan each candidate (both of National Assembly and provincial assemblies of PML (Q) will get 25,000 ballot papers in advance.

She had requested the commission to take appropriate measures to fail the expected theft of ballot papers aimed at rigging the electoral process. "There is no chance of possibility of such gross irregularity," the secretary made it clear.

About the PPP leader's main demand that large-scale appointments and transfers made in the subordinnate judiciary be reversed to pre-election schedule position, he said the commission was reviewing contents of the document.

Referring to her party's findings, Benazir contended that lower courts had witnessed postings and transfers at a large scale in Punjab and Sindh and the same practice was feared to be done in NWFP and Balochistan, triggering apprehensions.

She called for reversal of such postings and transfers to the status before the announcement of the election schedule. The PPP leader also insisted that the commission should take appropriate measures for strict implementation of the code of conduct.

Benazir Bhutto has been pressing the government for suspension of the local government system well before the elections to check nazims and naib nazims from influencing the electoral process.

The commission curtailed their powers through and order recently. The secretary, in reply to a question, said that there was no proposal under consideration to extend date for filing of nomination papers.

PPP candidate kidnapped, EC told 

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan People's Party has complained to the chief election commissioner that its candidate from NA-265 (Dera Bugti) Ahmed Jan Kalper was kidnapped on his way to file his nomination papers and its candidate from NA-267 (Kachi) has not been able to file his nomination papers for want of security for his protection, which he had specifically requested a few days ago in view of the serious threat to his life.

Secretary-General Pakistan People's Party Parliamentarians Raja Pervez Ashraf in two separate letters to the chief election commission wrote, "This is to bring to your notice that Ahmad Jan Kalper who intends to contest election from NA-265 (Dera Bugti) was kidnapped today, around 4:00 pm when he was on his way to file the nomination papers in Dera Bugti."

He wrote, "It is requested that you may kindly take notice of this outrageous incident and impress upon the law & order agencies to recover Ahmad Jan Kalper before any harm is caused to him. 

"Furthermore unless Ahmad Jan Kalper recovery takes place, he should not be able to file his nomination papers for which the entire responsibility shall be laid at the doorstep of the administration. I may add that in case the recovery of Mr Kalper takes time, then his papers may be accepted from his representatives who shall approach the Election Commission for the purpose. The provincial Election Commission may please be advised appropriately."

In the second letter, Raja Pervez Ashraf wrote, "I wish to draw your kind attention to a very serious matter in which PPPP's candidate Nawab Mohammad Aslam Raisani, who intends to contest election on NA-267 (Kachi) has not been able to file his nomination papers with the Election Commission for want of security for his protection, which he had specifically requested a few days ago in view of the serious threat to his life."

He stated in a letter that the request of Nawab Mohammad Raisani has not been granted so far with the result that he could not file his nomination papers. "It is, therefore, requested that the provincial government may be directed to do the same without further loss of time to enable him to file his nomination papers. In case this is not possible, at such a short notice then the authorities in Quetta may be directed to accept his papers."

PBC wants political parties to boycott elections 

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) on Monday appealed to the political parties, particularly those in opposition, to boycott the "so-called" elections and support lawyers in their struggle and movement for the restoration of the judiciary and the Constitution.

The PBC also asked the lawyers to continue boycott of the "PCO judges" in the Supreme Court and high courts and stressed that the bar associations throughout the country should continue at least one-hour strike and boycott of the subordinate courts ever day.

In a resolution, passed in the meeting held here with its Vice-Chairman, Mirza Aziz Akbar Baig, in the chair, the PBC observed that the so-called general elections called for January 8, 2008, shall be fraudulent and pre-rigged and are meant to legitimize unconstitutional acts and orders of General Pervez Musharraf on November 3 and afterwards.

"Whereas no free, fair and transparent elections can be held in the absence of the Constitution, independent judiciary, free media and independent election commission by impartial interim government of General Musharraf would be a fraudulent exercise,î says the joint resolution passed unanimously.

The meeting was attended by Qazi Muhammad Anwar, Safirullah Khan and Haji Syed Rehman from Peshawar; Fazle Haq Abbasi from Abbottabad; Sardar Latif Khosa, Muhamnmad Ahsan Bhoon, Hamid Khan and Muhammad Kazim Khan from Lahore; Syed Qalb-e-Hassan from Rawalpindi; Rashid A Rizvi, Abul Inam, Muhammad Yasin Azad and Farooq H Naik from Karachi; and Muhammad Yousaf Leghari from Hyderabad.

The resolution further stated that when the so-called emergency, in fact, martial law, was imposed throughout Pakistan, particularly against the judiciary and its independence and the media, on November 3, and whereas the Constitution has been suspended and judges of the superior courts are being forcibly prevented from performing their function and duties under the Constitution, and they are put under house arrest, The PBC appealed to all the political parties to boycott the general elections.

The council stressed the legal fraternity to continue their boycott of the PCO judges in the Supreme Court and high courts and urged all the bar associations across the country to continue their one-hour strike and boycott of the subordinate courts every day.

JI to approach EC for separate polls symbol 

PESHAWAR: Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) NWFP has proposed four election symbols for approval to the central leadership that would approach the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for a separate party symbol to contest the coming general polls.

A senior JI leader told ‘The News’ that the provincial chapter of the party has recommended ‘umbrella’, ‘car’, ‘inkpot’ and ‘bulb’ as their election symbol if they had to contest the elections separately. “Now this is up to the central leadership that which symbol they approve,” he added.

The spokesperson of JI Pakistan, SA Shamsi, when contacted confirmed recommendation of four election symbols by the JI NWFP. “The central executive council is to decide over the four proposed symbols,” he maintained. The executive council of the party is to meet today (Tuesday).

Shamsi disclosed their top priority would be to convince all the opposition parties over boycotting the elections. “If we have to contest elections, it would be our priority to field candidates under the banner of MMA,” the JI spokesperson stressed.

The JI sources disclosed that they would apply for a separate election symbol as a precautionary measure. These sources added that all candidates are submitting their nomination papers so that options for party remain open. 

Though efforts are going on at provincial and central level for a patch up between JI and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F), the tension between two major components of the MMA is mounting over boycott of the coming general elections and fielding candidates against each other. 

“The situation can be guessed from the fact that JUI-F had announced fielding its two contenders from NA-2 and NA-3, two of the four National Assembly constituencies of Peshawar, but the JI announced fielding its candidates for all the four seats,” MMA sources disclosed.

It has been learnt that the JUI-F had fielded Rahmatullah for NA-2 and Qari Sami for NA-3 while left the NA-1 and NA-4 vacant. The JI, however, fielded Shabbir Ahmad for NA-1, Iqbal Khalil for NA-2, Sardar Alam for NA-3 and Sabir Hussain Awan for NA-4. JI candidates have also submitted nomination papers against few former JUI-F ministers.

Relations between JI and JUI-F had been tense since the dissolution of NWFP Assembly after the former resigned along with other components of the All Parties Democratic Movement (APDM). Now the two groups are at loggerheads once again over the issue of boycott of elections, to be held on January 8.

Appointment of chief minister NWFP, the number of ministers in the cabinet, distribution of senate seats, adjustment in local bodies’ elections and on a number of petty issues the JUI-F and JI locked horns. They even fielded candidates against each other in district government elections and same is the case at present.

NWFP caretaker minister files papers 

PESHAWAR: A sitting minister of NWFP caretaker government has also submitted nomination papers for a provincial assembly seat in Lakki Marwat district.

Pir Dr Khalid Raza Zakori, caretaker minister for social welfare, was still holding his office when submitted nomination papers with the returning officer in southern Lakki Marwat district. He would be candidate of the Pakistan Muslim League-Q (PML-Q) for being the president of the Ulema and Mashaikh wing of the party.

The caretaker minister was approached on his cellular phone to know when he will quit the cabinet for contesting the coming general elections. However, someone on the other side of the phone told The News that he was busy in submitting papers. 

“He has not resigned so far,” the person replied when asked whether Dr Zakori has quit the caretaker government before submitting nomination forms. Apart from Pir Zakori, another minister of the caretaker set up, Shahzada Gastasip Khan has also submitted nomination papers to contest for a provincial assembly seat from Mansehra. Gastasip, however, quit the cabinet before going to submit nomination papers. He was holding the portfolio of home minister.

Though it is considered as unethical, relatives of a few ministers in the caretaker government are flexing muscles to try their luck in the coming polls. Provincial minister for higher education, Iftikharuddin, is one such cabinet member whose son, Intikhab Khan, is candidate of the PML-Q.

Intikhab, a lawyer by profession, has submitted nomination papers for a National as well as Provincial Assembly seat from Peshawar. He is the additional secretary general in the central cabinet of the PML. His father, however, has said he would have nothing to do with the election campaign of Intikhab and would just concentrate over his job to hold free and fair elections.

It, however, could not be confirmed as to whether the former federal minister, Iftikhar Gillani, who happens to be the brother of caretaker minister for information Imtiaz Gillani, would contest the coming elections or would stay away from polls. 

Among the federal ministers from NWFP, Naseer Mohammad Khan, son of minister for housing Nisar Mohammad Khan, has submitted nomination papers for two National Assembly seats. He has been the district nazim Charsadda during the two tenures. Another son of Nisar Mohammad Khan is said to be candidate for a provincial assembly seat.

It is to be mentioned that a number of district and tehsil nazims have also flexing muscles to contest the coming elections. However, they have to quit their offices before submitting nomination papers. 

Saifullah brothers, others file papers 

LAKKI MARWAT: Former Nazim Lakki district Humayun Saifullah Khan and his younger brother former federal minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Anwar Saifullah Khan were among other candidates who submitted their nomination papers with the returning officer concerned for National and Provincial Assembly seats here Monday.

According to reports, Humayun Saifullah Khan resigned from the post of district nazim in order to contest elections for the only National Assembly seat. He and his brothers former federal ministers Saleem Saifullah Khan and Anwar Saifullah Khan along with a big procession visited the offices of returning officer and filed nomination papers for NA-27.

Anwar Saifullah Khan also filed nomination papers to contest election from PF-75 (Lakki Marwat-II). Other desiring candidates of different political parties who furnished their nomination papers for NA-27 till the filing of this report are central naib amir of JUI-F and former MNA Maulana Amanullah Khan, provincial general secretary of JUI-S, Maulana Syed Muhammad Yousaf Shah, Haji Hamidullah Khan of ANP, Zafrullah Khan, Munawar Khan, Samiullah and Maulana Abdul Majid of Haji Kabir group, Prof Sher Ghulam of Jamaat-e-Islami, Akbar Jan Khan Marwat and Ghulamuddin Jabukhel as independent candidates and a primary schoolteacher Faizullah Khan.

For PF-74 (Lakki Marwat-I) former MPA Zafrullah Khan Marwat, Tehsil Nazim Serai Naurang Anwar Hayat Khan, divisional president of PPP-P Ihsanullah Khan advocate, president district chapter of ANP Sadruddin advocate, his covering candidate Muhammad Riaz Marwat and Ameen Jan Khan filed their nomination papers with returning officer Rehmatullah Mehsud.

Besides former federal minister Anwar Saifullah Khan, candidates who filed their papers for PF-75 (Lakki Marwat-II) are Imran Khan Khawjakhel of ANP, Zafrullah Khan of JUI-F and an independent candidate Ghulamuddin Jabukhel.

PML-N provincial general secretary and former MPA Anwar Kamal Khan Marwat, his covering candidate Aurangzeb Khan, former district naib nazim Arifullah Khan Meenakhel advocate, Nazim Lakki city-I Ishfaq Ahmad Khan Meenakhel of JUI-F, Wahid Aslam Khan Begukhel, Malik Haji Hamidullah Khan of ANP and Maulana Habeebullah Haqqani of JUI-S submitted nomination papers for PF-76 (Lakki Marwat-III).

Jang Group of Newspapers

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