Solid stance of mainstream parties

IN the backdrop of intriguing moves by some elements aimed at seeking delay in holding elections for reasons best known to them, all major political parties have categorically stated that they would resist any such attempt and would not allow postponement of polls on any pretext. The consensus emerged during last session of the National Assembly on Thursday when outgoing Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and opposition leaders from PPP and PTI asserted that Constitution is absolutely clear in this regard and they would not entertain any suggestion for delaying the elections.
The confusion arose when Balochistan Assembly passed controversial resolution for delaying polls and KP Chief Minister Pervez Khattak wrote a letter to the Election Commission of Pakistan urging it to postpone the electoral exercise till arrangements are also made for holding of elections in areas formerly known as FATA, which have now become part of KP. This requires undertaking of huge work of delimitation of constituencies involving many issues and stages and it is quite obvious that it would mean delaying elections for at least six months. Islamabad High Court also contributed to the confusion by nullifying delimitation of constituencies in several districts and it was feared that disposal of the issues involved would take much time. However, the Election Commission seems to be firm in its resolve to hold elections on the already announced date of July 25 as, on Thursday, the Chief Election Commissioner Justice Sardar Muhammad Raza expressed resolve of the Commission during a consultative session with parliamentary leaders to hold elections on time and later the ECP announced election schedule.
We hope that the superior judiciary too would not entertain any idea for postponement of elections as has already been committed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Saqib Nisar that he would now allow a day’s delay in elections in violation of the Constitution. It has also been repeatedly said that the law of necessity has been buried and it is time to substantiate this claim. There are some hitches in finalising names of caretaker chief ministers of Punjab, KP and Balochistan but hopefully the issue would be sorted out within the framework of procedure mentioned in the Constitution. We also hope that with the announcement of the election schedule, the focus would now shift from intrigues and conspiracy theories to preparation for elections. Much depends on the caretaker Prime Minister retired Justice Nasirul Mulk, who took oath on Friday, and given his track record and commitment to rule of law and supremacy of the Constitution, it is expected that he would succeed in foiling all attempts aimed at delaying the electoral process.

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