PML-Z made alliance, not merged, with PTI: Ijazul Haq

Our Correspondent
Monday, May 29, 2023

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Muslim League-Zia (PML-Z) President Ijazul Haq has clarified to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) that his party has not merged with the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). He said this in reply to a recent letter written to him by the electoral body on May 05 about his party’s status and intra-party elections for the forthcoming general elections.

In March this year, Ijaz had met PTI Chairman Imran Khan in Lahore, and TV channels and newspapers carried stories about the merger of his party with PTI. There had been no denial of these from him.

The PML-Z chief is the son of late military ruler General late Zia ul Haq. Reports say Ijaz wrote back to the ECP that he has not merged his political party with PTI; he had a meeting with PTI Chairman Imran Khan and the media wrongly inferring from it carried reports of a merger, which was wrong. “The party may have an election alliance with PTI in the next election but no merger has taken place and the news reports regarding it have no substance,” he was quoted as having written to the electoral body. The ECP had sent a letter to Ijaz ul Haq for seeking clarifications: Whether Pakistan Muslim League-Z (Zia) has been merged with PTI; Whether you (Ijaz) are contesting forthcoming general elections (2023) on the ticket of PTI. You are, therefore, requested to clarify the position and status of PML(Z) to proceed further in light of Section 200 (2) (3) and Section 203 (3) of the Elections Act, 2017.

The Act’s Section 200: Formation of political parties.—(1) Subject to this Act, it shall be lawful for anybody of individuals or association of citizens to form, organise, continue or set-up a political party. (2) A political party shall have a distinct identity of its structures at the national, provincial and local levels, wherever applicable. (3) Every political party shall have a distinct name. (4) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), a political party shall not— (a) propagate any opinion, or act in a manner prejudicial to the fundamental principles enshrined in the Constitution; (b) undermine the sovereignty or integrity of Pakistan, public order or public morality or indulge in terrorism; (c) promote sectarian, regional or provincial hatred or, animosity; (d) bear a name as a militant group or section or assign appointment titles to its leaders or office-bearers which connote leadership of armed groups; (e) impart any military or para-military training to its members or other persons; or (f) be formed, organised, set-up or convened as a foreign-aided political party. Likewise, Section 203 of the Act explains: Membership of political parties.—(1) Every citizen, not being in the service of Pakistan, shall have the right to form or be a member of a political party or be otherwise associated with a political party or take part in political activities or be elected as an office-bearer of a political party. (2) Where a person joins a political party, his name shall be entered in the record of the political party as a member and shall be issued a membership card, or any other document showing his membership of the political party. (3) A person shall not be a member of more than one political party at a time.