Electoral process back on track

THANKS to prompt decision taken by Chief Justice Saqib Nisar, electoral process has been brought back on track as CJP suspended a Lahore High Court’s order rejecting the new nomination papers drafted by Parliament. Going a step further during hearing of petitions filed by former National Assembly Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq and the Election Commission of Pakistan, the Chief Justice asserted that upcoming general elections will be held on July 25 and ECP will be responsible for any delay in conduct of polls.
This makes things absolutely clear, removing ambiguity and uncertainty triggered by Lahore High Court verdict. The LHC might have genuine legal and constitutional basis to form its opinion yet the petition in Lahore High Court was filed in December last year and the verdict was timed a day before the nomination papers were to be received from candidates. The timing raised suspicions among some circles about motives of the move, complaining that this could be part of the game to delay polls as demanded by some vested interests. It is strange that attempts are being made to create doubts about the electoral process when, otherwise, all preparations are going on as per schedule and the ECP is committed to completing the entire exercise timely. The intervention of the apex court has enabled the ECP to issue a revised election schedule but the polls would still be held on July 25 as already announced. This augurs well for political stability and hopefully would have salutary effect on the overall political environment as well. This is because members of the Senate were also smelling rat and declared their intention to requisition session of the upper house to debate the new development and continue its session till holding of the elections to foil bids to delay the exercise. The CJP has saved the process from derailing but it would be in the fitness of things if he directs subordinate judiciary not to entertain any move aimed at destabilization of the system. The CJP is on record reaffirming several times in the past that he would not allow even a day’s delay in elections. This is also the policy of the caretaker Prime Minister retired Justice Nasirul Mulk and hopefully no further attempts would be made to add to the confusion.

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