No consensus on election date, SC adjourns hearing

suo motu notice
375721 11: (Photo by Robert Nickelsberg/Liaison)

SC to resume hearing after govt, PTI meeting; AGP, PPP seek time for dialogue with PTI

The Supreme Court on Thursday adjourned the hearing of a petition seeking to hold general elections to all the national and provincial assemblies simultaneously till April 27 after being told that a meeting had been scheduled between the government and the PTI for April 26.

Earlier in the day, the top court had given the federal coalition and the PTI until 4pm to sit together and develop a consensus on elections. At the same time, it also asserted that it would not go back on its order fixing May 14 as the date for elections to the Punjab Assembly.

The directives were issued by a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial and comprising Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Munib Akhtar.

During the hearing, the coalition parties told the court that a dialogue with the opposition was planned after Eid, but Justice Bandial instructed the government to hold the talks Thursday.

However, the proceedings — which were to commence at 4pm — did not resume after the three-judge bench did not appear in the courtroom.

Farooq H. Naek, who is representing the PPP, and Attorney General for Pakistan Mansoor Usman Awan then met with CJP Bandial in his chambers.

Around 5:30pm, Naek told reporters that the CJP had been informed that dialogue had been initiated with the PTI.

Meanwhile, AGP Awan said: “It was decided today to give each other some time.”

In the written order, the court said: “Having heard the positive statements of political leadership of the country representing all major political parties with respect to the simultaneous holding of general elections of the National Assembly and four provincial assemblies gives cause for optimism that they would agree to an election date sooner rather than later.”