PTI questions calls for delaying Feb 8 polls over security issue

Spokesperson says PTI altogether rejects organised but illegal, unconstitutional efforts to delay elections further

Those creating hurdles in conduct of polls enemies of the Constitution, democracy, people’s right to vote and country’s interests.

ISLAMABAD  -  The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Wednesday questioned the calls for delaying February 8 general elections due to “wors­ening security situation.”

“PTI altogether rejects the organised but illegal and un­constitutional efforts to de­lay the elections further,” a spokesperson of the party said in a statement. A day ear­lier, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman had said that elections couldn’t be held in many parts of Khy­ber Pakhtunkhwa due to dete­riorating security conditions.

The spokesperson said that those creating hurdles in the conduct of polls were enemies of constitution, democracy, people’s right to vote and coun­try’s interests. He went on to say that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) should ensure the transparent conduct of elec­tions instead of wasting the time by hearing petitions seeking de­lay in polls. “Any further delay in election is a shameful plan to push the country towards more political instability and deprive it of the constitution,” he said.

The spokesperson urged the electoral watchdog to en­sure fee and fair elections in the country on the announced date of February 8 next year. He went on to say that all four care­taker provincial governments and federal government were illegal and unconstitutional. There was no space in the con­stitution for caretaker set-up to work beyond the constitutional time period of 120 days, he added. The spokesperson said that the Supreme Court has already decided the matter of delay in elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Separately, former chairman Senate and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) stalwart Mia Raza Rabbani said that the general elections should be held on the 8th February, 2024. The Supreme Court has ruled that it is a continuous constitu­tional violation, which cannot be perpetuated, he added. Any further delay will give rise to a new constitutional violation, as the new parliamentary year of the Senate commences on 12th March, 2024, before that half of the Senate will retire, he said. If the electoral college of the pro­vincial assemblies and the Na­tional Assembly is not elected, the Senate will be dysfunctional from middle of March, he added.

He further said that in such circumstances there would be no Parliament which would be in violation of the constitu­tion. “An internal security situ­ation cannot be an excuse, as elections have been held when countries are even at war.” Senator Rabbani said that the political instability would fur­ther undermine the economy due to further delay in polls. “The caretaker governments have a constitutional mandate of 90 to 120 days, the same has been violated and the constitu­tion has been defaced.” Senator Rabbani underlined that Paki­stan’s ruling elite should stop playing with the constitution, for if its writ was systematically dismantled a stage would come when there would be the law of the jungle, which couldn’t hold the Federation together.

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