What if both assemblies are dissolved ?
WITH the two provincial assemblies disbanded and the resignations of the MNAs verified and accepted, Imran Khan believed, almost 70 percent of the country’s population would go to polls and wisdom suggested that general elections across the country should be announced to end the political unstability and help the country economically rise again.
Another attempt by President Dr. Arif Alvi to bridge the thorn by gulf between the government and the opposition proved unproductive, and soon after meeting Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar revealed that the ruling government is ready to contest elections in Punjab and KPK if Imran Khan dissolved the assemblies in both provinces.
In the fresh meeting, two senior ministers, Ayaz Sadiq and Azam Nazeer Tarar called on President Alvi.
Soon after the meeting, the president flew to Lahore to meet Imran Khan, indicating that either he went there to convey a message of the ruling coalition government to his party chief or he may advice Mr. Khan on dissolution of Punjab Assembly.
In order to remove ambiguous of the meeting with the President, a press release issued by the Presidency said Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Sardar Ayaz Saddiq and Federal Minister for Law Senator Azam Nazeer Tarar called on President Dr. Arif Alvi, at Aiwan-i-Sadar.
It is believed that if Imran Khan dissolves the assemblies of Punjab and KPK and manages to win elections of the two assemblies, then he will be in the better position to win next General Elections to be held in October 2023.
Side by side the Coalition Government has decided that, if the two assemblies are dissolved, the care taker government of Punjab and KPK will hold fresh elections there and if PTI and its allied party’s legislators resign, the Election Commission of Pakistan will go for by elections on the vacant seats as per Article 224 of the Constitution of Pakistan.
Supreme Court of Pakistan during the hearing of resignation case observed that apex court could intervene to get the resignations of the PTI members from the National Assembly with in few days.
The law makers constituencies cannot be kept hanging for so long, as it is against the concept if parliamentary democracy, the Honour judge observed.
The Justice Shah said he was baffled that PTI members, whose resignations have yet to be accepted by the National Assembly Speaker, are drawing salaries but not holding their seats in the lower house.
Justice Shah also recalled the Islamabad High Court had directed PTI members to appear in person before the National Assembly Speaker and record their statements so that a final decision could be taken about the fate of their resignations.
On the other hand Mr.Imran Khan is facing a very odd case about his personal life, as the Islamabad High Court has fixed December 20th for hearing a petition seeking disqualification of Mr Imran Khan for concealing his putative daughter in the nomination papers submitted to the Returning Officers during the July Elections 2018.
The Court has already issued pre-admission notices to federation, the Election Commission of Pakistan and Mr. Imran Khan. The petition has been moved by a citizen, Muhammad Sajid, stating that Mr.
Imran Khan had only provided the details of his two sons in his nomination papers and did not disclose his alleged daughter Tyrian White.
The petitioner has requested the court to disqualify Mr. Imran Khan under Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution.It is very astonishing that the case is hanging since 2006.
In 2006, a reference was submitted before the Speaker National Assembly Chaudhary Ameer Hussain by MQM on the behest of Altaf Hussain against Imran Khan for concealment putative daughter in the nomination papers submitted by Imran Khan during the General Elections in 2002.
Dr.Farooq Sattar and Babar Gouri presented MQM the then Speaker referred the reference to the Election Commission of Pakistan under Article 63 and 62.
After the hearing, the Chief Election Commissioner of Pakistan Justice Qazi Muhammad Farooq had dismissed the reference on technical grounds.
Hamid Khan, the then Secretary General of PTI argued the case amicably. I think the proceedings of the case and reference background is in custody of ECP’s archeology wing.
Imran Khan needs to give it a rest. His expectation from the armed forces that they should be guiding the government towards an early election is quite embarrassing.
It gives the impression that he has learnt little from his years in power, and that any regrets that he had about never really being in the driving seat were more of an expression of unhappiness with the last Chief of Army Staff who seems to have let go of his hands towards the end rather than an actual realisation that governance should always remain the exclusive domain of the politician. For a political leader, all legitimacy and power flow from the court of public opinion.
As a public representative, his place is either in parliament or at the negotiating table, fighting to get the people he represents what they want. There are only two legitimate paths open for him at the moment.
He can sit tight, refuse to negotiate, and wait till the next elections come around on schedule, or he can return to parliament, initiate a dialogue, present his case, and, through some compromise, reach a deal with the coalition government over an early election. Mr. Khan must ask himself whether Pakistan’s welfare should be above.
—The writer is former Secretary Election Commission of Pakistan and currently Chairman National Democratic Foundation.