Peshawar - Legal and political experts here on Monday said that general elections in 90 days are mandatory under the law after the dissolution of the national and provincial assemblies most likely on August 9 and subsequently formation of the caretaker government’s set up in the centre, Sindh and Balochistan.
Asif Yousafzai advocate, a constitutional expert told APP that the election commission was legally bound to conduct a free, fair and transparent election within 90 days after the dissolution of the assemblies while the caretaker government was responsible to provide all-out assistance to the electoral body for smooth conduct of polls in all federating units and Islamabad.
He said it was mandatory for the President and governors to sign the assemblies’ dissolution advice sent by the Prime Minister and Chief Ministers respectively, adding if the advice were not signed then the assemblies would automatically dissolve after 48 hours of the advice like that we have recently seen in Punjab.
Asif Yousafzai said the recent amendments in the election laws have empowered the ECP to announce date for general elections and conduct elections in a free, fair and transparent manner. He said that four to six months were generally required for new delimitations of constituencies in the wake of digital census.
He said ECP should start preparation for the general election after the Prime Minister has publically announced to dissolve the National Assembly on August 9, just three days before the lower house of parliament completes its five-year constitutional term.
“It is a free and transparent election that provides legitimacy to an elected government to take decisions in the country’s interest as it enjoys overwhelming support from the masses.” He said democracy provides an inclusive mechanism for resolution of all socioeconomic and political issues through evolving broad-based political reconciliation among all the relevant stakeholders.
He said the permanent political divide with no channel of communication and intolerance in society would further retard the political and economic development besides widening the economic gap between influential and underprivileged classes.
He said if the trend of political intolerance, accusations and blame games among politicians continued, then it would be extremely difficult to bring political and economic stability to the country despite holding general elections.
PML-N Nowshera district president, Sahibzada Hamaza Khan said that PTI chief was convicted in Toshakhana case and was sentenced to three years imprisonment and one lakh rupees fine after he was found guilty of corrupt practices and concealing facts in his nomination papers from ECP.
Hamaza Khan said that PTI chief had deceived the masses in the name of change and his face was seen by the entire nation after May 9 vandalism. “Democracy has been declared as the best governance system in the world due to people’s ownership in government’s affairs. All political conflicts are being addressed through political reconciliation and dialogue among relevant stakeholders duly supported by the people that strengthened the governance system,” said Dr Ejaz Khan, former chairman of the International Relations Department while talking to APP.
He said that our politicians did not learn lessons from past experiences and again started political wrangling that may harm democracy. He urged all political parties to set aside their differences and unite for general elections to take the ship of democracy to safe shores.
Dr A H Hilali, former chairman Political Science Department, University of Peshawar, told APP that the doors of political dialogue among religious and political entities were never closed in a democratic form of government.
He said political dialogue was an effective tool in a democratic system, which removed misunderstanding among political players on existing issues, strengthened democracy and united people for election besides ensuring the smooth transition of power.
Prof Hilali said unfortunately our politicians did not learn lessons from our history and again started wrangling by closing the doors of political dialogue ahead of the general election despite the country’s difficult economic situation. He said the absence of political dialogues among politicians in the past led to the derailment of democracy four times in Pakistan.
He suggested political dialogue between government and opposition on existing difficult economic and political challenges inevitable for the country’s stability and development.
Ikhtiar Wali Khan, PML-N KP spokesman and former MPA said that his party did not believe in political victimisation of opponents. He said PTI chief was given a fair trial and due process of law in the Toshakhana case. He said any aggrieved person can file an appeal against conviction in higher courts for remedy.
He claimed that the PTI had deceived people with the hollow slogan of “accountability and change” as the former PTI government in KP itself closed its own Ehtesab Commission at Peshawar besides the province was put under huge loans burden.