LAHORE: All Parties Democratic Movement (APDM) Thursday decided to boycott the up-coming general elections, however the opposition alliance also announced to reverse its decision if the deposed judges were reinstated on their posts. Addressing a press conference after the APDM meeting here, PML (N) Chief Nawaz Sharif said that an alliance of opposition parties will boycott elections in January and would try to persuade others including PPP Chairperson Benazir Bhutto and JUI (F) Ameer Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman to join them. He said that a five-member committee has been constituted to persuade them to boycott the up-coming polls.
He said a committee comprising himself, Imran Khan, Mehmood Khan Achakzai, Nawabzada Mansoor Khan and Abid Hassan Minto would meet PPP’s Chairperson to appeal her to boycott the elections. To convince JUI chief Maulana Fazal ur Rehman to boycott the elections Qazi Hussain Ahmed would accompany the aforementioned committee, he added.
“We will try to convince other political parties so that this boycott is effective,” he told the press conference. Qazi Hussain Ahmed, Imran Khan, Mehmood Khan Achakzai, Nawabzada Mansoor Khan, Abid Hassan Minto, Ghulam Ahmed Bilor and other leaders of APDM were also present on the occasion.
Nawaz Sharif said that APDM has one point agenda to restore the judges who refused to take oath under the PCO. Musharraf, he said, did not do any favour to the nation by lifting the state of emergency, imposed in the country on November 3. He took this unconstitutional step for his own personal interest and sabotaged the free judiciary, he added. “We are not boycotting the elections out of pleasure but want to democracy to flourish in the country and demand for restoration of the judges,” he added.
The parties who attended the APDM meeting today would withdraw their candidates’ nomination papers by the last date, set for withdrawal of nomination papers, he said. Qazi Hussain Ahmed, on the occasion, said that all parties in the MMA platform except JUI (F) would withdraw its nomination papers in accordance to the APDM decision. PTI Chief Imran Khan said that contesting polls under currents circumstances tantamount to accept the illegal and unconstitutional steps taken by Musharraf government.-SANA