ECP clear on polls

THE Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Monday dismissed three petitions, including that of the Muttahida Qabail Party, seeking a delay in the conduct of general election and made it clear that the poll would be held on time even if there would be hot, cold or rainy conditions. In related developments, Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa and Caretaker Prime Minister Justice (R) Nasirul Mulk discussed arrangements for the conduct of general election in a peaceful and secure environment while Information Minister Syed Ali Zafar once again held out an assurance that the caretakers are determined to hold election on the date already announced.
Apart from the Constitution, all major stakeholders are apparently on one page as far as holding of general election on July 25 is concerned. However, it is strange that despite all this there are some forces and elements that continue to try to undermine the electoral process. Muttahida Qabail Party also staged a demonstration in the Capital last week for the very purpose and was categorically told that holding of the election in the formerly FATA for Provincial Assembly of KP was not possible as it involved huge preparatory work that cannot be completed within the limited time. Most important than that it is written in the Constitution that election in FATA area for the Provincial Assembly would be held one year after 2018 general election which means around July 2019. There is, therefore, hardly any justification to hatch conspiracies on the pretext of disenfranchising people of FATA or hot and humid weather in southern Punjab. People of FATA were deprived of their right to franchise and representation for a long time {since creation of Pakistan} but no one was concerned. Now they have been given all rights that are available to people in other parts of the country and election for Provincial Assembly too would be held in a year after delimitation of constituencies. The Election Commission has done well by rejecting plea of such elements and hopefully same would be the response of the judiciary if the matter was unnecessarily taken up at that level as the Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar is also absolutely clear that there would not be any delay in election even for a day.

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