Thursday February 29, 2024

Conduct delimitations but hold elections on time: PPP CEC

CEC expresses concern over ban on development projects Sindh while they were being inaugurated in Punjab, KP

By Faizan Bangash & News Desk
September 15, 2023
This picture released on August 26, 2023, shows the PPP Central Executive Committee in a meeting with Asif Ali Zardari (C-L) flanked by Chairman Bilawal Bhutto. — Facebook/Syed Yousuf Raza Gillani
This picture released on August 26, 2023, shows the PPP Central Executive Committee in a meeting with Asif Ali Zardari (C-L) flanked by Chairman Bilawal Bhutto. — Facebook/Syed Yousuf Raza Gillani

LAHORE: The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Central Executive Committee (CEC) on Thursday voiced concern over efforts being made to push the party to the wall, adding that it should be provided with a level-playing field.

The CEC meeting held under PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari at Bilawal House, Lahore, underlined that the delimitation of constituencies must be done if there is a need for them. But it demanded holding general elections within the constitutional period and asked the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to immediately announce their date.

The CEC also expressed concern over the ban on development projects in Sindh while they were being inaugurated in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The PPP also voiced serious concerns over the grim economic situation in the country and termed elections key to solution of all the core issues. Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, on the occasion, announced that another sitting of the PPP CEC would take place on Friday (today). The CEC meeting was not attended by two party stalwarts, Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan and Sardar Latif Khan Khosa.

On the recommendation of Punjab leadership, a show cause was also served to Latif Khosa for his statements against the party’s stance. The PPP chairman also directed the party leaders to gear up for a mass contact campaign and appointed Chaudhry Manzoor as the focal person for the affairs related to flood-hit population of Punjab. The CEC meeting was attended by former president Asif Ali Zardari, former prime ministers Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani, Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, Syed Khursheed Shah, Syed Murad Ali Shah, Farooq H Naek, Qamar Zaman Kaira, Rana Farooq Saeed Khan, Syed Hassan Murtaza, Faisal Karim Kundi, Shazia Marri and others.

Later, talking to the media, Shazia Marri said the PPP wants the polls to be conducted at the earliest so that the country comes out of uncertainty but only the ECP can give a date, as stressed by the party in the last meeting. “We are saying that delimitation should be done if it needs to be. We are hopeful that the election commission will conduct the polls soon,” she added, adding the PPP should be provided a level playing field.

She said President Arif Alvi apparently seemed to be playing on both sides of the wicket. His letter on the date of fresh elections was being reviewed, she added. She said the PPP believed in law and the Constitution, and as per the legal experts, the president cannot give a date for elections.

“An attempt to create confusion on the election has been made,” Marri said while referring to President Arif Alvi’s letter to the chief election commissioner, suggesting November 6 as the date for the polls while also asking the electoral body to consult the superior court.

She further said the president’s letter would also be discussed in the CEC meeting and the decisions taken there will be shared after the meeting. She said the CEC today (Friday) will consider the situation after a meeting with the ECP. Shazia said that it does not matter if the party’s former ally, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN), continues to put blame on others. “The PMLN can keep blaming, it does not matter,” Shazia Marri said.

While briefing the media, Faisal Kundi said the PPP had reservations over some actions of the caretaker government, particularly the one concerning discrimination against the development projects of Sindh as compared to Punjab and KP.