ISLAMABAD: As the Election Commission of Pakistan once again delayed announcing the final date for conducting the upcoming general elections, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Wednesday urged caretaker Prime Minister Anwarul Haq Kakar to ensure holding elections on time.
Qureshi in a letter to Kakar said that the Constitution mandated the holding of “elections within 90 days in case of premature dissolution of the assembly, so it is our insistence that you ensure timely elections”.
The ECP has been holding meetings for announcing the date of general elections for the last couple of days, but to no avail.
The PTI VC said that the issue of new constituencies could not be used as an excuse for delaying the elections after the delayed approval of the results of the digital census by the Council of Common Interests (CCI). “We will challenge the decision of the Council of Common Interests in the court.”
On Aug 5, the CCI “unanimously” approved the 7th Population and Housing Census results, making it almost certain that the general elections, which were to be held in November after the dissolution of the National Assembly on Aug 9, would not be held during the current year.
He said that for the credibility of the elections, it was necessary to provide an equal field to all political parties for electoral competition.
Qureshi said that the former rulers used the state institutions with the intention of excluding the PTI from the election race. “The behaviour meted out is a blot on the administrative and judicial system of any country,” he said, calling for immediate steps to provide basic rights to PTI Chairman Imran Khan as per the Constitution and jail rules.
He said that more than 10,000 PTI workers were under arrest, adding that the constitutional orders of the courts were being disrespected.
He told the interim PM in the letter that the time had come to run the country again on the path of Constitution and law.
“The country is on the verge of complete destruction of the Constitution. One strategy after another was used to save it, causing enormous damage to the foundations of the state.”
In his letter, Qureshi also felicitated Kakar for being appointed as the caretaker prime minister, extending his party’s cooperation to him in fulfilling the “great responsibility” assigned to him.