COAS calls for unity, healing touch as PML-N, PTI both assert victiory, vow to form new govt

General Syed Asim Munir felicitates nation on successful conduct of general elections n Says Pakistan’s diverse polity, pluralism will be well-represented by a unified govt n Political leadership, their workers should rise above self-interests n Nation needs stable hands and a healing touch to move on from politics of anarchy, polarisation n Wishes elections bring in political, economic stability n PTI chief says we will form govt in accordance with the Constitution n PML-N steps up contacts with rivals to form new govt n Shehbaz holds meeting with Zardari, Bilawal in Lahore n 3-member committee formed to contact independent candidates.


ISLAMABAD/LAHORE  -  Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen­eral Syed Asim Munir Saturday congratulated the entire Paki­stani nation, caretaker govern­ment, Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), political parties and all winning candidates on successful conduct of General Elections 2024. 

“Free and unhindered par­ticipation by Pakistani people to exercise their right of vote dem­onstrated their commitment to democracy and the rule of law as enshrined in Constitution of Pakistan,” says a press release issued by the Inter-Services Pub­lic Relations (ISPR) on Saturday. The leadership and personnel of law-enforcement agencies de­serve our highest appreciation for creating a safe and secure environment for the electoral process, despite overwhelming odds, the ISPR said. 

The constructive role played by national media, civil society, members of civil administration and judiciary enabled the success­ful conduct of the largest electoral exercise in national history.

“Pakistan’s diverse polity and pluralism will be well-represent­ed by a unified government of all democratic forces imbibed with national purpose. Elections and democracy are means to serve people of Pakistan and not ends in themselves,” the ISPR quoted COAS as saying. 

The nation needs stable hands and a healing touch to move on from the politics of anarchy and polarisation which does not suit a progressive country of 250 million people. Elections are not a zero-sum competition of win­ning and losing but an exercise to determine the mandate of the people. Political leadership and their workers should rise above self-interests and synergise ef­forts in governing and serving the people which is perhaps the only way to make democracy functional and purposeful, the ISPR said. “As the people of Pa­kistan have reposed their com­bined trust in the Constitution of Pakistan, it is now incumbent upon all political parties to re­ciprocate the same with political maturity and unity. As we move forward from this national mile­stone we must reflect on where the country stands today and where our rightful place should be in the comity of nations.” COAS wishes that these elec­tions bring in political and eco­nomic stability and prove to be the harbinger of peace and pros­perity for our beloved Pakistan.

PTI, PML-N, PPP, MQM-P vy­ing to form new govt

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Barrister Gohar Ali Khan on Saturday claimed that President Arif Alvi would invite his party to form the gov­ernment as they had gotten a majority in the National Assem­bly. “We have no quarrel with anyone, we want to move for­ward. We will proceed and form a government in accordance with the Constitution and the law,” Gohar Khan said address­ing the media in Islamabad. He said the people freely exercised their right to vote. The presid­ing officers counted the votes and prepared Form 45, he add­ed. The PTI chief said the re­sults should be made according to Form 45 as they had received all those forms. He said the economy would not be able to tolerate the suppression of peo­ples’ voice and forming a de­sired government. 

“No obstacle should be cre­ated for the PTI and results should be announced as soon as possible. As per the law, the final result is extracted from Form 45 and we have received all the results,” he said adding that the final results should be announced before 12:00am to­night. Gohar said their inde­pendent candidates were in contact with them. They were loyal to the party and would re­main so, he said, adding that they would make their inde­pendent government. 

He said the PTI would go to­wards intra-party elections within 15 days after comple­tion of the process. The people had given a big mandate to the PTI, he maintained. He also said all the cases on the PTI found­er were fake. The PTI chairman said they would reach a decision soon regarding the reserved seats as well as what party they should join. He said they would hold peaceful protests in the constituencies where results were stopped. 

“The workers are request­ed that protest is a right, but it should be peaceful,” he said. 

He said advertently an at­tempt was made to defeat them on the seats they had won. He claimed that the PTI had won elections on 170 seats. He also said his party clinched 39 out of 35 NA seats from Khyber Pakh­tunkhwa. 

Gohar said they would de­cide about the chief minister’s post after consultation in two days. He claimed that his par­ty would form a government in Punjab as well. As the ma­jor political parties have start­ed planning to form new gov­ernment in the centre and other provinces including Punjab, the official results of the general election2024 shows indepen­dents backed by Pakistan Teh­reek-e-Insaf (PTI) have secured nearly hundred seats.

As the independents hold the key to form next governments in the centre and two provinc­es, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-In­saf (PTI) is considering joining the ranks of the Majlis Wah­dat-e-Muslimeen Pakistan (MWMP), a smaller religio-po­litical party, in a move to re­tain party-back winning inde­pendents under its fold and to secure parliamentary seats re­served for women and minori­ties. The move comes after PTI-backed independents have won majority of seats in the national and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) assemblies while they are also leading in Punjab followed by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), according to the offi­cial results announced by the Election Commission of Paki­stan (ECP). The beleaguered PTI had lost its iconic electoral sym­bol ‘bat’ after the Supreme Court in its January 13 judgment up­held the decision of ECP invali­dating its intra-party polls.

The PTI now struggles to keep its winning independents un­der its fold as they are not legal­ly bound by the party discipline and can join other parties. The party also fears losing its ample share of reserved seats in the Parliament if either its election symbol is not restored or par­ty-backed independents don’t join any other party, according to the election laws.

PTI leader Barrister Gohar Ali Khan in his Saturday’s presser said that they have yet not de­cided to enter into an alliance with another party to secure the reserved seats. However, the official sources within the PTI disclosed that the party was very close to sealing a deal with MWMP. “We have discussed all available legal options and come to the conclusion that the party can neither retain a large number of independents with­in its ranks nor secure reserved seats if it didn’t join ranks of an­other party in the Parliament,” an office bearer of the PTI Cen­tral Secretariat told The Nation. The party has an option to join smaller parties including Sun­ni Ittehad Council Pakistan and MWM, he added.

Background interviews with some senior PTI leaders indi­cate that the leadership fears that ECP might not allow its in­dependents to join any small­er political party that hasn’t won a single seat in the Parlia­ment. This is the reason, PTI wants, that its independents sit in the Parliament as mem­bers of MWMP as the latter has clinched a seat of National As­sembly from NA-37 (district Kurram). However, legal and parliamentary affairs experts are of the view that there is no bar that independents can only join ranks of a political party that has won at least one seat in the parliament.

After joining a smaller politi­cal party, the PTI-backed candi­dates will be able to elect their own parliamentary leader in any house and as a result, they will only be bound to follow di­rections of the parliamentary leader and not the party head in the light of the Supreme Court verdict in Punjab chief minister election case.

The Rule 92(6) of the election rules says that independent can­didates will have three days to join a party immediately after the notification of their victory. They can also avail the option to form a group with any name in any house, the rule says, but then the group will not be able to get a share of reserved seats. As many 70 seats have been reserved for the women and non-Muslims in the 336-member National As­sembly besides such seats have been allocated in each provincial assembly on the basis of strength of each house. A day earlier, PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif in his so-called victory speech had said that his party would form next coalition governments in the center and Punjab. The for­mer prime minister further said that he was ready to join hands with the independents to steer the country out of the crisis.

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has also shown its intention to bring onboard the indepen­dents to form a government in the center.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) on Sat­urday intensified efforts to form new government. According to party sources, PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif met party supre­mo Nawaz Sharif and informed him about the progress in the meeting with Asif Ali Zardari here on Saturday.

Party sources said that a3-member committee has been set up by the PML-N lead­ership to contact independent candidates.

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