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Election funds to be released within two days, assures finance secretary

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  • Ministry says funds disbursement requires multiple approvals.
  • ECP letter for funds provision was received by ministry on Nov 14.
  • Electoral body was allocated Rs42bn for conducting elections.

Following concerns raised by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), Finance Secretary Imdad Ullah Bosal on Monday assured the electoral watchdog that funds for upcoming general elections will be released in a day or two.

Bosal was summoned by the electoral body after the Finance Ministry was irresponsive regarding the provision of funds, allocated for the polls, in the budget.

The development came as Pakistan is preparing for general polls scheduled to take place on February 8, 2024.

The secretary said that the Finance Ministry will release the required funds by the Election Commission. The ministry said that the letter written by the electoral body on November 14 was received on November 18.

“Disbursement of funds requires approval at various levels,” the secretary added.

The secretary was speaking to the media after holding a meeting with the ECP.  

The secretary had arrived at the ECP after sources had told Geo News that the ECP has taken notice of the non-provision of funds by the government.

The government, as per the sources, had allocated Rs42 billion for the general elections in the current financial year’s budget. The Finance Ministry, however, only provided Rs10 billion to the ECP so far, they added.

Disbursement of the remaining amount, according to the sources, is being delayed without any reasonable justification.

“Rs17 billion are urgently needed for holding the general elections on February 8.”

The sources told Geo News that the Finance Ministry was repeatedly approached for the provision of this amount, while a written reminder was also sent to the ministry for immediate provision of money.

However, no positive response has yet been given regarding the disbursement of money, they added.

Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja has decided to inform the Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar about the non-provision of funds by the finance ministry.

A detailed letter is also being written to the premier today, the sources said.

General elections 2024

Pakistan is now approaching elections with polls scheduled to be held on February 8 2024. All political parties have geared up for a face-off in the run-up to the elections, while the ECP has notified the final list of delimitation of constituencies of the national and four provincial assemblies.

The electoral watchdog is also expected to announce the election schedule, sometime this week. It had earlier stated that the final list of delimitations would be published on December 15 but it was later revised to November 30.

In its notification, the ECP said that according to Article 51(3) of the Constitution, the National Assembly consists of 266 general seats, with 60 seats reserved for women and additionally 10 for non-Muslims.

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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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