During the second phase of the Sindh local government elections, the PTI and Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) established a joint committee on Saturday to count Form-11s, which are polling station result forms issued by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), and “get back what was stolen in rigging.”
In a press conference with JI Karachi Chief Hafiz Naeemur Rehman, PTI leader Ali Haider Zaidi stated, “The committee will comprise of four members, two each from both the parties.”
On January 15, the second phase of Sindh’s local government elections took place in 16 districts. However, the ECP was blamed for mismanagement by major opposition parties, including the PPP, who were concerned about the unusual delay in Karachi’s results.
As the opposition PTI and JI accused the provincial administration of “rigging and managing things” in its favor, the electoral body took more than 36 hours to announce the results of 236 union committees in Karachi. The electoral watchdog has not yet announced the results, so contesting parties are unsure of their mandate.
Zaidi claimed in a joint media interview today that PTI’s “mandate was stolen” from almost 40 union councils.
He stated, “We have all the Form 11s.” “We have decided that we will sit together with Form 11s [in our hands],” he said. “PTI and JI have been communicating since before the elections.”
In the meantime, according to JI’s Rehman, the joint committee will “exchange notes and Form 11s” throughout the procedure.
He stated, “Jamaat-e-Islami has presented itself [in the elections], and of course, it currently has a position to hopefully appoint our mayor.”
Rehman stated, “We have agreed that we will help each other for the protection of our individual mandates,” expressing gratitude to Zaidi and his team for “accepting [and] welcoming” JI’s mandate.
He continued by stating that despite the current “political confrontation and difference of opinions,” both JI and PTI had decided to reach a consensus for the improvement of the city.
Rehman said, “JI can play its role and is ready to serve the city with a mayor [appointed through consensus] if the PTI is up for it,” hinting at a possible coalition between the two political entities to bring a mayor to Karachi.
Despite all of the negative statements that have been made in the past, “We [PTI and JI] share a working relationship.”
In order for “the 35 million residents of Karachi to take a sigh of relief,” the JI chief asked the PTI to “help” his party.
In response, Zaidi stated that other senior party leaders would be consulted before making the final decision.
The JI chief met with the PPP delegation led by Saeed Ghani on Thursday to try to come to an agreement. He expressed optimism that the PPP, which won the most seats in recent elections, would address his party’s reservations about the issue.
Ghani had promised Rehman that the Sindh government would respond to the JI’s complaints and expressed the hope that the JI would also “certainly” wish to collaborate with the PPP in the near future.