Seminar on ‘prerequisites of timely, transparent elections

Salim Ahmed

Lahore

The speakers, at a national seminar on ‘Prerequisites of Timely & Transparent Elections 2018’, urged the nation to demonstrate the will to hold the General Election on time and in a transparent and fair manner.
The seminar organized by Pakistan Institute of National Affairs (PINA) at Punjab University was presided over by eminent lawyer Mr. Shahid Hamid. The speakers included Barrister Zafarullah Khan Special Assistant to Prime Minister, Prof. Dr. Zikriya Zakir Vice Chancellor Punjab University, Mr. Ehsan Wyne ANP Leader, Mr. Ejaz Ahmad Ch. PTI Leader, Mr. Mujib-ur-Rahman Shami, Mr. Rauf Tahir, Dr. Hussain Ahmad Piracha, Major (R) Eraj Zikriya, Prof. Nizam Uddin Chairman Punjab Higher Education Commission and Mr. Muhammad Mehdi PML(N) Leader. Mr. Sajjad Mir conducted the proceedings.
Mr. Altaf Hasan Quresheee Secretary General PINA, said in this opening remarks that present situation portrays a positive picture on the surface. He said that all political parties and the establishment, besides the judiciary want election to be conducted in time and in transparent manner. He however cautioned that some elements are spreading negative views to weaken the hopeful atmosphere. He hoped that all institutions will be on the same page to provide even-level field for political parties.
Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on Legal Initiatives, Barrister Zafarullah Khan informed that the parliament passed Election Act 2017 and constitutional amendment for empowering Election Commission of Pakistan with financial and administrative autonomy and strong legal infrastructure for holding General Election in a transparent manner. But regrettably Election Commission of Pakistan has banned the development projects and recruitment suggesting pre-poll rigging.
ANP’s Mr. Ehsan Wyne said that majority of the All Bar Associations and Bar Councils of the country feel that judiciary is overstepping and its judgments are not being accepted by the saner elements.
PTI’s Mr. Ejaz Ahmad Ch., said how transparent elections could be ensured when SHOs were appointed after interviews at Jati Umra.
Punjab University Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr. Zikriya Zakir said he, as a social scientist, feels that visibility of the institutions is negatively affecting their credibility.
Mr. Mujib-ur-Rahman Shami said we are witnessing a complex situation urging civil society to strive for defeating ulterior motives of the nefarious elements who are bent upon to undermine the democratic process.
Mr. Rauf Tahir expressed concern over the behavior of judiciary and ECP, and demanded that the constitution should prevail. Dr. Nazim Uddin who has been associated with census process remarked that there were some problem in delimitation of constituencies, but the nation should go forward for the elections.
In his presidential remarks, Mr. Shahid Hamid said there is so much mistrust among the institutions that the election results may not be accepted by all. He called for efforts to hold the coming elections in accordance with the provisions of the constitution and law in a peaceful and transparent manner.

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