Pakistan’s opposition parties believe that any general elections under the enforced emergency rule will be nothing short of a “farce,” hinting at boycott. “Without lifting the state of emergency and restoring the constitution, elections will be a farce and an attempt to hoodwink the international community,” Qazi Hussain Ahmad, the President of the powerful six-party religious alliance, Muttehida Majlis-e-Amal, reportedly said.
Qazi, who was placed under house arrest soon after Musharraf enforced emergency, says all democratic and moderate forces will reject elections under martial law. “The time has come when all the democratic forces, including the PPP, should get united on one-point agenda to oust the military dictatorship.”
Qazi declined to confirm or deny reports that his Jamaat-i-Islami, Sharif’s PML-N and Imran Khan’s Tehrik-i-Insaf have decided not to take part in elections held under emergency. “All options are open. No doubt, that elections under emergency can never be transparent and fair. Therefore, we have kept all options open.”
Embattled President General Pervez Musharraf on November 11 announced that elections will be held before January 9 but the emergency rule he imposed earlier last week would not be lifted before that. He also insisted that supreme and high court judges who refused to legitimise the emergency are “gone, they are no more the judges.”
“The people of Pakistan will never accept any elections under emergency rule,” two-time former premier Nawaz Sharif told his Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) party workers from his exile.