JI ends sit-in after govt agrees on Jan 15 polling.

KARACHI -- The Jamaat-i-Islami called off its sit-in protest on Thursday after the Sindh government assured the party that it would take every possible step to hold much delayed (second phase of) local government elections in Karachi and Hyderabad on January 15.

The assurance came from the key Sindh minister who vowed to take up the JI demands with the chief minister and then visit its office to apprise its leadership of the outcome. However, he said, so far there was no hurdle in the January 15 elections as the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) itself was keen to contest the upcoming polls.

Sindh Local Government Minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah visited the sit-in site and spoke to the protesting JI leaders and workers, and managed to persuade them to call off the protest and disperse peacefully as it was not the government this time that was seeking a delay in the polls.

'PPP chairman [Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari] in his recent address to party workers clearly favoured elections to be held on January 15,' he said.

'Only Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) is seeking a delay and they are not making an unfair demand. They are raising the same issue [fresh delimitation before the polls] which Jamaat-i-Islami was seeking. But we believe that the process is too lengthy and could take too much time.'

The LG minister also referred to the PPP's deal with the JI which the two sides had struck...

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