PPP is objecting fresh delimitations out of fear of losing seats: Sanaullah

Former interior minister says delay in conducting general elections will make no difference | Holding elections on a ‘tainted census of 2017’ will be unconstitutional

ISLAMABAD  -  Former interior minister Rana Sanaullah said that the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) was object­ing to the fresh delimitations on the basis of the 2023 census out of fear of losing a few seats as an increase in the number of Kara­chi seats was expected.

Remarks of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) se­nior leader came during a lo­cal TV programme, wherein he maintained that a delay in con­ducting general elections be­yond 90 days would not make any difference. He said that the Council of Common Interests (CCI), in which PPP leaders were also present, had approved the new census by consensus.

On August 17, the Elec­tion Commission of Pakistan (ECP) announced the elections couldn’t be held in three months due to the requirement of fresh delimitations after the notifica­tion of census 2023, as decided by the CCI. “There is a consen­sus of the entire nation on this census. New delimitation is a constitutional requirement,” Sanaullah said. He explained that everyone objected to the 2017 census, but since elections were around corner, a one-time “amendment” was made to hold polls on that particular head­count. He stressed that holding elections on a “tainted census of 2017” would be unconstitu­tional. Therefore, delaying polls for another 80 or 90 days would not be an issue, he added.

In contrast to the PML-N’s position, PPP Vice President Senator Sherry Rehman urged the ECP to duly announce the date of general elections in line with the provisions of Article 224 of the Constitution. “Our Constitution binds the Election Commission of Pakistan to con­duct general elections within 90 days of the dissolution of the National Assembly, how­ever, there is no constitutional requirement for conducting de­limitation,” Rehman said, call­ing upon the ECP to announce the election date to fulfill the constitutional obligation.

Moreover, Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani said that po­litical parties that were part of the previous coalition govern­ment of the Pakistan Demo­cratic Movement (PDM) — in­cluding the PPP — were aware that after they approved the census results, fresh delimita­tion of constituencies would take place in the country. Talk­ing to media persons a day earlier, the Senate chairman said that if political parties had objections to the exercise of fresh delimitations in the country, they shouldn’t have notified the census results af­ter approving them at the CCI.

Furthermore, Sanaullah claimed that no illegal case was made against any leader of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and that he had to make a way ac­cording to the situation. Azam Swati was produced in the court fifteen minutes after his arrest, while Shahbaz Gill was produced before the court a day after his arrest, the former interior minister said. “These people were arrested accord­ing to the law,” he claimed. Sanaullah further claimed that if 100 first information reports were registered not a single one was false. “If a person takes bail in one case, but not in an­other, he should be arrested,” he said. He said Shehryar Af­ridi was released on parole by the Islamabad High Court. The Ministry of Interior cannot re­lease an accused on paro

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt