By Irum Saleem
The PDM government formally decided to quit office in the first half of August but non committal about when the country sees next polls.
On the other hand the PDM backed by its handlers continue to incarcerate PTI leaders like Chaudhry Parvez Elahi despite getting bail in the cases.
They want them that such leaders quit PTI before a formal date for polls is announced. But Mr Elahi despite facing worst conditions at Lahore’s jail not ready to accept the offer of the powers that be and sticking loyal to Imran Khan.
Dawn is critical of PM Shehbaz for cr wti g confusion on date of general elections.
“It would appear so from the remarks Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif made on Wednesday during a function in the capital where he sought to rectify his earlier slip-up of mentioning Aug 14 as the last day of the current National Assembly.
پرویز الٰہی صاحب نے اپنی وزارت اعلی اور سپیکرشب کے دوران اسلامی حوالوں سے بہت اچھے اور تاریخی کام کیے جس پر میرے دل میں اُن کے لیے بہت احترام ہے۔ اللہ تعالی اُن کی مشکلیں آسان فرمائے۔ حکومت پرویز الٰہی سمیت دوسرے جن کا 9 مئی حملوں سے تعلق نہیں اُن پر سیاسی وجہ سے ظلم نہ کرے۔ https://t.co/ynSD2Wx3Oz— Ansar Abbasi (@AnsarAAbbasi) July 12, 2023
Pakistan needs more reservoirs. So much can be done. Extremely cheap electricity can be produced and hundreds of thousands of barren acres can be irrigated. https://t.co/voqew5mHFQ— Moonis Elahi (@MoonisElahi6) July 10, 2023
A day earlier, the premier had held a meeting with the chief of the PDM coalition, Maulana Fazlur Rehman, in which the latter reportedly stressed that elections in the country needed to be held on time,” the paper writes.
The prime minister’s whirlwind meeting with Mr Rehman had followed a high-level huddle between the senior leadership of the PPP and PML-N in Dubai, to which the JUI-F chief, much to his chagrin, had not been invited.
The Dubai huddle, aimed at deciding candidates for the caretaker set-up and a possible seat adjustment formula for the upcoming elections, failed to achieve “anything final”, according to PPP leaders.
Nonetheless, the PML-N has now indicated when their coalition arrangement is due to expire. This clears up some of the uncertainty about the path forward: the PDM government, at least, will not overstay its welcome.
“It is intriguing, however, that the prime minister desisted from providing even a rough timeline for when the next general elections could be held, leaving the matter to the Election Commission of Pakistan.
Technically, the ECP is the relevant authority empowered to announce the election schedule, but its conduct with respect to the elections to the Khyber Pakhhtunkhwa and Punjab assemblies — repeatedly delayed in violation of the Constitution — gives rise to justified fears that the path to the next polls may not be straightforward at all.”
It is now up to the ECP to clear the air completely. There have been rumours that whatever caretaker set-up is brought in to take the reins from the PDM government may stay on for longer than two or three months, much like the KP and Punjab interim governments, which have continued in office long after their respective tenures expired.
If something like this transpires, it would be antithetical to the entire raison d’être of the ECP. The law minister recently argued during a television show that no power on earth could compel the ECP to set a date for any election, even if the ECP is clearly in violation of the law of the land. What a shame indeed.
Does his twisted logic betray the true intentions of the state? One hopes that the country will not be taken along on another misadventure. The country desperately needs an empowered government formed after a free and fair election to take it forward. Any move to thwart this will only be seen as another blatant subversion of its constitutional order.
Critics however see that untill the PTI is completely eroded from the scene the handlers would not allow elections in Pakistan. PAK DESTINY