PESHAWAR: A senior officer on Thursday told the Peshawar High Court (PHC) that the KP government was providing a level playing field to all the political parties for running campaigns for general elections.
“SOPs [standard operating procedures] have been framed for the public meetings which are applicable to all. Those complying with SOPs are allowed to hold public meetings and conventions. However, any political party, be it PTI, ANP or any other, which does not follow the rules, is denied permission to hold convention,” said KP Chief Secretary Aslam Nadeem Chaudhry.
Chaudhry appeared before the PHC bench hearing a contempt of court petition filed by the PTI for not allowing the party to hold a workers convention. The two-member bench consisting of Justice Ijaz Anwar and Justice SM Attique Shah heard the petition.
Apart from chief secretary, Provincial Election Commissioner Shamshad Khan, Advocate General Aamir Javed, Additional Advocate General Danyal Asaad Chamkani and ECP counsel Mohsin Kamran appeared for the government. The PTI was represented by Ali Zaman, Syed Sikandar Shah and Shah Faisal Umtankhel.
The counsels for the PTI submitted that despite court orders, the PTI was being denied permission to hold public meetings and conventions while there was no such bar on other political parties.
When Justice Ijaz Anwar asked the chief secretary about the curbs, the senior officer said the PTI had arranged a party workers convention on Wednesday and hence the impression of any restriction on the party was not correct.
Justice Ijaz Anwar asked the counsel for the ECP about the election schedule to which he said that delimitation of constituencies had been completed and the schedule was expected to be announced next week.