Thursday April 18, 2024

President Alvi urges respecting mandate, laments social media outage

President expresses concern over slow decision-making and lack of leadership in country

By Nausheen Yusuf
February 19, 2024
President Dr Arif Alvi. — APP/File
President Dr Arif Alvi. — APP/File

As political parties, mainly incarcerated Imran Khan-led PTI continued protesting against alleged rigging in the polls, President Arif Alvi has urged respecting the people's mandate and lamented suspension of social media site X services in Pakistan.

Addressing a ceremony in Islamabad on Monday, the president said financial inclusion is not possible without the people's participation in the political process.

He also appreciated the "millions of young voters" for reposing trust in the country's democratic system.

"If the youth's confidence in the system is shaken, it will not be in the country's interest," the president warned, lamenting that competent people are being "forced out of politics".

President Alvi also warned that there could be consequences for excluding the people from the development process.

Expressing concern over the slow decision-making and lack of leadership in the country, the president said that Pakistan needed good leadership and timely decision-making to put it on the path of progress and prosperity

"Development and prosperity require good leadership and timely decision-making," the president said.

President Avli said that technology could have been utilised to grant the right to vote to overseas Pakistanis through internet voting (i-voting) as well as bring improvements in the electoral process through Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs).

He regretted that i-voting and EVMs could not be introduced due to vested interests.

He also spoke about the suspension of social media site X services in the country, saying the blockage of social media websites in Pakistan was due to the lack of intellectual capacity to handle criticism.

Last week, PTI leaders held a meeting with President Dr Arif Alvi and briefed him on the alleged irregularities during the February 8 general elections.

According to a statement issued by the president's office, PTI leaders Raoof Hassan and Umair Niazi apprised the president about the alleged irregularities during the February 8 polls.

Without directly addressing the rigging allegations being raised by political parties, the president had said that the country would have been spared the ongoing crisis if the EVMs had been used during the February 8 general elections.

The political parties — PTI, JUI-F, JI and other nationalist parties — have been holding sporadic protests in different parts of the country against alleged rigging and irregularities in the polls.

The PTI-backed independent candidates took the lead with 92 seats in the recently held general elections followed by PML-N and PPP.

The elections were marred by allegations of rigging and the inordinate delay in the results that raised questions over the poll's transparency.