Muslim Conference, MMA boycott polls
11 July 2006
Karachi: The Azad Jammu Kashmir Muslim Conference and the Muttahida Majlis-i- Amal candidates, contesting on LA-30 Jammu-I and LA-36 Valley for AJK Legislative Agency polls, announced to boycott polls in Sindh in protest against the alleged rigging by the Muttahida Qaumi Movement. Addressing a joint press conference at Karachi Press Club on Tuesday, Muslim Conference candidate Malik Abdul Manan and MMA candidate Sardar Maqsooduz Zaman alleged that polling stations in Karachi were occupied by armed activists of Muttahida Qaumi Movement. They alleged that immediately after the start of voting at polling stations in Karachi and rest of Sindh, Muttahida terrorists along with their MNAs, MPAs and nazims entered into polling stations, forced opponents’ polling agents to leave the booths and started bogus voting. They alleged that genuine voters were asked to return homes saying that their votes had been cast. Some other people, carrying fake identity papers instead of computerised national identity cards, cast votes in connivance with armed Muttahida activists. They further alleged that some supporters of MQM’s opponents were also kidnapped. MMA candidate Sardar Maqsooduz Zaman said that he also approached AJK Chief Election Commissioner Justice Riaz Akhtar Chaudhry but no heed was paid to his complaints. In these circumstances, he said, he was compelled to boycott the polls in Sindh. He demanded re-polling should be held under the supervision of army as Sindh government was held hostage by the Muttahida Qaumi Movement. On the occasion, a female polling agent of the MMA candidate told newsmen that bogus votes were cast at the polling station set up near the airport. On her objection, she said, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement activists forced her to leave the polling station. AJK Muslim Conference candidate Malik Abdul Manan levelled similar charges against the Muttahida Qaumi Movement and said that elections in occupied Srinagar and Karachi had no difference as element of transparency was missing at both places. He also announced boycott of polls on part of his constituency in Sindh and urged the election commission to hold fresh polls in both the constituencies under the supervision of army. Another candidate of AJK Muslim Conference, Sardar Abdul Aziz also announced to boycott the elections. Accusing the Muttahida Qaumi Movement of widespread rigging and bogus voting, he demanded re-election in Sindh. “Kashmiris were threatened to vote for the Muttahida candidate if they want to remain in Karachi. Instead of showing CNICs, fake domiciles were showed to cast bogus votes during these elections in Sindh, especially in Karachi,” he alleged.