ISLAMABAD: Jamaat-i-Islami on Friday called for snap elections in the country. It said the government had lost legitimacy to rule as it had failed to resolve the people’s problems.
The call for fresh elections made by Prof Khurshid Ahmed of J.I during the Senate proceedings was instantly endorsed by Mohammad Ishaq Dar, the parliamentary leader of the PML-N in the house. Analysts however believe that the call does not mean much as JI has only three members in the Senate. Moreover it boycotted the general election of 2008 and has nothing at stake.
Taking part in the discussion on presidential address to the joint sitting of the parliament, Prof Ahmed described the government as “an existential threat to the country”. “It has lost credibility, integrity and legitimacy because it has failed to resolve the crisis for which the people of the country had given it the mandate. Now the situation demands that fresh mandate be sought and fresh elections be held in the country,” he said.
He pointed out that Pakistan was facing the multiple challenges of energy crisis, poverty and inflation, lawlessness, corruption, foreign policy fiasco and bad governance but lamented that the president in his address did not give any roadmap to address the issues. He said the prime minister spent Rs1.2 billion on foreign visits while an amount of Rs400 million was incurred on President Zardari’s visits abroad.
He said the president had been behaving in a manner which brought his office into disrepute. “No one knows if he speaks in death anniversaries as president, as a leader of a particular party or as a leader from Sindh province,” the senator said, adding that Lahore High Court orders regarding restrictions on the president were also being flouted. Endorsing the views expressed by Prof Ahmed, Mr.Dar said the government had compounded the crisis facing the country during its three-year rule. Criticizing the government for pursuing what he called flawed policies, he said ministers did not resign even after their involvement in corruption was unearthed.
He said non-development expenditures continued to soar and now the figures of such expenses are being stated around Rs.2300 billion. He warned that the country would head for disaster if corrective measures were not taken. Mr.Dar said the government wanted a toothless accountability law, while the PML-N was in favour of a proper mechanism to hold the corrupt accountable. He said the government had promised that issues of energy, losses in public sector enterprises and circular debt would be addressed but the roadmap was missing from both the president’s address and the budget speech.
Some members of the house expressed concern over wheat export to Afghanistan and Russia and warned that the government would have to import the commodity from other countries, if a limit on export was not fixed.