Raza Rabbani stressed for timely free, fair elections Raza Rabbani stressed for timely free, fair elections

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ISLAMABAD: The events of the past few days including the Resolution of the Balochistan Assembly and various decisions of the Superior Courts are creating an atmosphere of uncertainty with reference to the holding of General Elections on 25th July, 2018.

This was stated by former Chairman Senate and Pakistan Peoples Party Senator Mian Raza Rabbani in a statement Saturday.

Senator Rabbani said that the failure of the State to full fill its constitutional obligation under Article 224 of the Constitution, 1973, of holding elections within 60 days will cast dark shadows on the Federation.

The Federation under no circumstances can afford a further destabilization of the democratic process as this will lead to severe polarization between the Federation and the Provinces and also amongst the Provinces, he said.

Rabbani said that the state must realize that using the province of Balochistan for the furtherance of such agendas is only weakening those nationalist elements who are doing politics within the framework of the Constitution, on the contrary such and other steps will strengthen the narrative of those elements working at the behest of foreign powers in Balochistan.

He said a delay in the holding of elections within sixty days as provided under Article 224 of the Constitution will also effect the schedule of the election of the President of Pakistan whose term completes in the first week of September, 2018.

Raza Rabbani said that the judiciary while exercising judicial review in matters pertaining to or connected with the electoral process must keep in mind the statement of the Chief Justice of Pakistan that elections will be held on time and also the provisions of Article 224 of the Constitution, 1973.

He said the Senate of Pakistan now remains as the only elected House functioning under the Constitution, 1973. As the Senate represents the Provinces and has representation of all major political parties, therefore, a heavy responsibility rests on its shoulder, it needs to monitor and keep in check any or all state functionaries to ensure that the elections are held on 25th, July, 2018.

“I reiterate my demand made in my letters dated 29th May, 2018, that the Senate be summoned or requisitioned immediately to remain in session till the 25th July, 2018 to ensure that elections are held on time in a free, fair and transparent manner as provided under the Constitution, 1973,” the statement quoted Rabbani as saying.

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