Press Release

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Appeal to all political parties to forge a consensus on elections
Lahore: Over a hundred leading civil society organizations, bar councils, human rights bodies, journalists, editors, women and trade Union federations and leading intellectuals have called upon all political parties to resolve their differences over the framework and timing of elections through dialogue and mutual agreement. They suggested reaching a national consensus in the Parliament and/or by holding an All-Parties Conference that the civil society is ready to facilitate as a concerned and neutral mediator.

Civil society believes:
“We the concerned citizens of Pakistan committed to constitutional rule and a consistent democratic dispensation based on smooth electoral transition through a free, fair and transparent elections have agreed to issue the following appeal to all political parties and legitimate stakeholders, including the government, the Election Commission of Pakistan, the Supreme Court of Pakistan and all civil society organizations”.

Civil society is concerned:
“ The political crisis is increasingly becoming intractable, which is accentuating the economic woes of the masses. The leadership of the major political parties is on a war path and leaves little room for dialogue and accommodation.
Before things go out of the hands of everybody, we feel extremely concerned about the kind of existential crises that may have very grave consequences for the nation”.

Civil society appeals:
“Therefore, with all sincerity and a non-partisan approach, we call upon all political parties, the parliamentary parties in particular, to bring down current confrontational and intolerant rhetoric and sit together to sort out their political differences on the holding of election in the greater interests of the nation, the supremacy of the constitution and a mutually agreed peaceful democratic transition”.

Civil society recommends:
“We appeal to all parliamentary parties to hold an all-parties conference or/and sit together in the Parliament to find a plausible way out of the current political and constitutional impasse and reach a broader consensus on holding inclusive elections to ensure diversity with a mutual agreement on fair play and even playing field for all in order to give a free choice to the peoples of the federation of Pakistan to grant the mandate to their elected representatives”.

The Mediators:
In the meanwhile, the civil society have agreed to form an Informal Group of Mediators (The Mediators) to engage with all political parties to start a reconciliation process to forge a national consensus on the holding of free, fair and transparent elections to all assemblies on a mutually agreed timeframe. The Pakistan Bar Council has agreed to host an All-Parties Conference, if major political parties respond to this call.

Signed by:
Abid Hassan Minto Advocate, Akhtar Hussain Advocate, member Judicial Commission of Pakistan, Haroon ur Rasheed
Vice chairman Pakistan Bar council,
Hassan Raza Pasha, Chairman Executive Committee PBC, veteran journalist Hussain Naqi, HRCP,Akhtar Mengal MNA, President BNP (M), Mehmood Khan Achakzai , President PKMAP, Dr Malik former CM and President NP, Aftab Sherpao, President QWP, Mohsin Dawar MNA, President, NDM, Ali Wazir MNA, Liaquat Baloch, General Secretary Jamaal I Islami, Senator Syed Mushahid Hussain, PMLN, Senator Raza Rabbani, former Chairman Senate, Farhatullah Babar, PPP, Afzal But, President PFUJ, Imtiaz Alam, Secretary General SAFMA, Shehzada Zulfikar, former President PFUJ, Kazim Khan, CPNE, Amir Mehmood CPNE, Sohail Waraich, Editor Jang, Syed Talat Hussain, Anchor Samaa TV, Mujeebur Rehman Shami, Analyst Dunya TV, Khalid Farooqi, Editor Awaz, Asima Shirazi, Anchor Aaj, Mazhar Abbas, Geo, iftikhar Ahmed, Anchor, Far’heea Idrees, Anchor GNN, Tanzeela Mazhar, SAWM, Raza Rumi, Naya Daur, Mustansar Javed, SAFMA Pakistan, Farooq Tariq, President Haqooq I Khalq Movement,
Syed Amjad shah, member pbc and former vice chairman ISB, Ahsan Bhoon, former president SCB, Abid Saqi, member PBC, Justice Rashid A Razvi.
former president SCB, Ali Ahmed Kurd, former president SCB,
Mohammed Yaqoob, Mutahida Mazdoor Federation, Sheema Kirmani, Haqooq I Niswan Movement, Salima Hashmi, HRCP, Ajnjuman Jamhooryat Pasand Khawateen, Neelum Hussain, Women Action Forum, Farzan Bari, Aurat March, Abid Hussain Abid, Anjuman Taraqi Pasand Musanafeen,Mohammed Tehseen, SAP, Member organisations of Joint Action Committee:
 AGHS Legal Aid Cell
 Ajoka Theater Workshop
 All Pakistan Minorities Alliance
 ASR Resource Centre/IWSL
 Aurat Foundation
 Centre for Social Justice (CSJ)
 Community Support Concern (CSC)
 Democratic Women’s Organization
 Digital Rights Foundation (DRF)
 Labor Education Foundation (LEF)
 Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP)
 Institute for Peace and Secular Studies (IPSS)
 Interactive Resource Cetnre (IRC)
 Justice & Peace Commission (MSLCP)
 Punjab Lok Sujag
 National Commission for Justice & Peace (NCJP)
 Nawa-e-Khawateen
 Pakistan Kissan Rabita Committee (PKRC)
 Saanjh Publications
 Shirkat Gah
 Simorgh
 South Asia Partnership Pakistan (SAP-PK)
 Tameer-e-Nau Women Workers Organization
 War Against Rape (WAR)
 Women Action Forum (WAF)
 Women in Struggle for Empowerment (WISE)
 Women Workers Helpline
 Commission for Peace and Human Development

Coordinator: Imtiaz Alam

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