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Saturday, May 25, 2024

Senate passes resolution seeks delay in election

The resolution argued that Balochistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa experience severe weather conditions in January and February

Senate passes resolution seeks delay in election

The resolution, introduced by independent Senator Dilawar Khan, faced opposition from Caretaker Information Minister Murtaza Solangi and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Senator Afnan Ullah Khan. The upper house of parliament comprises a total of 100 members, with only 14 present during today’s session.

According to the resolution, “The Constitution of Pakistan upholds the right to vote for every citizen of Pakistan. The Constitutional duty assigned to the Election Commission of Pakistan to conduct free and fair elections is contingent upon inclusivity and ensuring the participation of all regions and people.” It emphasized that the “voter turnout in colder areas remains notably high during moderate weather conditions.”

The resolution argued that Balochistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa experience severe weather conditions in January and February. It stated, “Various groups and political parties have expressed significant reservations regarding anticipated difficulties in ensuring the participation of residents in cold areas during the electioneering process.”

Additionally, the resolution expressed “great concern” about recent incidents, including foiled attempts on the lives of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) Chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman and former MNA Mr. Mohsin Dawar, as well as threatening calls targeting Awami National Party’s Provincial Chief Mr. Aimal Wali Khan and other political figures. It raised concerns about the safety of political leaders.

“The Ministry of Interior has conveyed serious threats to the lives of prominent politicians, further exacerbating the challenges faced by political parties in exercising their right to free and fair election campaigning. There has been a marked increase in attacks on security forces and citizens claiming precious lives, particularly in northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan Provinces. The intelligence agencies have warned of militant attack threats on election rallies in the two provinces,” the resolution stated.

The Senate resolution holds no value

Immediately after resolution was passed, PML-N Senator Afnanullah rejected it, acknowledging that the security situation was not good. However, he argued that conditions were worse in 2008 and 2013, yet elections were held in both years. He dismissed the ‘pretexts’ as “boot polish” and questioned the feasibility of running a country with 24 billion people without constitutional institutions, wondering if there was a desire to eliminate the parliamentary system.

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In a statement released after the resolution’s passage, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) asserted that nothing except the Supreme Court’s (SC) orders could alter the election schedule. It added that the next general elections would be held on February 8. “The Senate resolution holds no value,” maintained the electoral watchdog.