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ECP pledges to hold general elections by mid-Feb

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  • ANP, BNP and BAP hold consultative meetings with ECP.
  • ECP assures of squeezing timelines of delimitation.
  • Election schedule is expected to be issued soon.

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Wednesday dispelled speculations surrounding the upcoming general elections, assuring the Awami National Party (ANP) that polls would be held by mid-February at the most or by January end if the delimitation of constituencies is completed earlier.

The statement came after ANP, Balochistan National Party (BNP) and Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) held separate consultative meetings with the ECP officials on the roadmap to general election.

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja chaired the meetings, which were attended by the commission members, the secretary and senior ECP officers.

The ANP delegation was led by its Secretary General Mian Iftikhar Hussain, comprising central spokesperson Zahid Khan, Khushdil Khan, Advocate, and Abdul Rahim Wazir, Advocate.

On behalf of the BAP, Naseebullah, Manzoor Kakar, Noor Muhammad Domar, Sardar Abdul Rehman Khetran appeared and BNP was represented by Abdul Karim Noshrawani, Sana Jamali and Danesh Kumar.

The commission, ANP leaders said, assured them of squeezing the timelines of delimitation to the maximum possible extent. The commission also assured them elections would not go beyond mid-February.

According to a statement released by the commission, the ANP team insisted on the date and schedule for the electoral exercise, if conducting the election within 90 days was not feasible. They briefed the election commission that the election should be held within 90 days as per the Constitution and that the ECP should have consulted political parties before initiating delimitation, as the commission could not reduce or increase the seats given in the provinces given under the Constitution. Therefore, there was no need for new delimitation.

The ECP, they said, could only accommodate seats within the province and that the commission was a constitutional body and they had full faith in it.

Therefore, the delimitation decision taken by the commission must have been taken after due deliberation. Therefore, now the date and schedule for elections should also be announced so that political parties and people could be satisfied.

The CEC said that according to the schedule issued by the commission, the delimitation work was to be completed within 120 days on December 14, 2023. The election schedule would be announced soon after. It is also possible that the election schedule will be announced in the next few days after reducing the duration of the constituency.

The BAP delegation supported the ECP decision to carry out delimitation and members of the delegation said that because the results of the census had been published, not going for delimitation as per the new census would be an insult to political parties, candidates and the public. The BAP expressed full confidence in the ECP and also expressed confidence in several decisions taken by it in the past.

BNP representative Agha Hassan Baloch said the ECP should try to hold elections within 90 days. He noted the new census appeared to be faulty, in which the population of Balochistan had been reduced. “Therefore, our party believes that there is no use of new delimitation. If the election commission believes that delimitation is necessary, then the process should be corrected,” he said.

The CEC assured the delegations that the commission would ensure immediate elections after reducing the duration of delimitation.

Talking to media persons outside the ECP, Mian Iftikhar said the electoral body had assured completing the delimitation of constituencies on fast track to enable it to hold general election not later than mid-February.

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No “major breakthrough” in the opposition-led JUI-F and PTI meeting

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Maulana Fazalur Rehman stated that mending rifts in relationships and getting rid of resentment in an interview with the media in Islamabad with a team from the Tehreek-e-Tahafuz-e-Ayeen-e-Pakistan that paid him a visit.

While no significant progress was made at the meeting, all sides decided to keep in touch in order to plan for the future.

“A positive message,” according to the JUI-F chief, was received with open arms by the delegation. Taking a “united” stance on national issues was the primary goal of the meeting, he said.

Democracy is losing its appeal, and Pakistan’s parliament and constitution are losing their respect. In parliament, Maulana Fazalur Rehman continued, “we should have a single voice.”

Remarking on the event, National Assembly Opposition Leader Omar Ayub thanked the JUI-F leader for ‘warmly’ receiving the group.

We had a fruitful discussion in the meeting, he declared, urging the opposition parties to work with the PTI to “protect” the constitution.

Constitutional violations and a lack of a rule of law are the claims made by Omar Ayub. According to him, there was “no reason” why the police searched the PTI’s Islamabad central secretariat office.

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In the instance of illegal recruitment, Pervaiz Elahi is granted bail.

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The earlier-reserved court ruling was delivered by LHC Judge Sultan Tanveer Ahmad on Tuesday.

LHC had filed a post-arrest bail motion, according to the former chief minister.

On October 25, 2023, Pervaiz was taken into custody by the Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE).

From June 1 to September 18, Elahi has been arrested in a number of crimes; the most recent one was reported by the Punjab ACE on September 18.

More: Pervaiz Elahi’s condition “deteriorated” in Adiala jail; he was hurried to PIMS.

In the Punjab Assembly, Elahi illegally hired 12 people for grade 17 positions, according to information provided by an ACE representative.

In the provincial assembly, the candidates were chosen through record-altering.

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The bail petition of Parvez Elahi in the Jinnah House attack case has been rejected by the ATC.

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A bail application filed by Chaudhry Parvez Elahi, a leader of the Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf (PTI) party, in the Jinnah House attack case has been rejected by an Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) on the grounds of prematurity.

ATC Judge Arshad Javed announced the decision during today’s hearing.

The counsel representing Parvez Elahi contended that there was a significant likelihood of his client being arrested in relation to the Jinnah House attack case. It was stated that the ex-Chief Minister had previously been held in custody on judicial remand in other cases.

The petitioner requested the court to authorise the release of Parvez Elahi on bail in the Jinnah House attack case.

Nevertheless, the prosecution argued that the bail petition did not meet the necessary legal criteria, emphasising that Parvez Elahi had not been apprehended in connection with the case.

Considering these considerations, the court rejected Parvez Elahi’s request for release, stating that it was premature since he had not been arrested in the Jinnah House attack case.

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