In view of the recent spike in terrorism incidents across the country, Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) President and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl Chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman on Sunday demanded authorities concerned postpone the upcoming elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP).
Addressing a press conference, the PDM president said, “Law and order situation in the country is not suitable for elections.”
The polls in Punjab are scheduled for April 30, while the date for the elections in KP is yet to be announced as Governor Ghulam Ali has not made a decision yet.
In light of the Supreme Court's split ruling earlier this week, President Arif Alvi announced the date for Punjab polls after consulting the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP). But the KP governor is yet to "open" the letter that the ECP has sent to his office.
Fazal also said that they believe in holding general elections in the time frame provided in the Constitution, but in the same breath he added: “We have to make decisions in view of the country's situation.”
Referring to alleged rigging in the 2018 elections, he said that the Supreme court took a suo motu notice over the election date of KP and Punjab, adding that the notice may have been taken on the polls.
Recalling his party’s long march in 2019 to oust then-prime minister Imran Khan and for fresh elections in the country, the PDM chief questioned, “How are these ears that did not hear the voice of 1.5 million people and take a suo motu notice for just four people?”
He also held Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-led government responsible for the prevailing economic crisis and ruining the country’s economy. “Today, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is preparing our budget and controlling the prices,” he added.
The president of the ruling PDM alliance said that Rs80 billion are being demanded by relevant authorities for ballet papers at a time when the state is unable to provide bread to the poor.
Talking about the rising terrorism in the country, the JUI-F leader doubted if the police and other institutions could provide security during the election process.
Last month, the Ministry of Defence excused itself from providing security for the KP and Punjab assemblies' polls and by-elections of 93 National Assembly constituencies.
Maulana Fazl claimed that former Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief Lt Gen Faiz Hameed and former chief justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar were still lobbying for Khan.
He urged the institutions to take notice of the situation and “rein them in”.
Fazl also held Imran Khan responsible for the alleged ideological split in the establishment and institutions.
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