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Uncertainty over polls: Rabbani seeks continuation of Senate session till July 25

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June 3, 2018

ISLAMABAD: Former chairman Senate Mian Raza Rabbani on Saturday said the events of the past few days, including the resolution of the Balochistan Assembly and various decisions of the superior courts, were creating an atmosphere of uncertainty with reference to the timely holding of general elections, therefore, the Senate session should continue till the polls scheduled date.

“The failure of the state to fulfil its constitutional obligation under Article 224 of the Constitution for holding elections within 60 days will cast dark shadows on the Federation. The Federation under no circumstances can afford a further destabilisation of the democratic process which may lead to severe polarisation between the Federation and the provinces and also amongst the provinces,” Raza Rabbani said in a statement.

The senator from the PPP said the state must realise that using Balochistan for the furtherance of such agendas was only weakening those nationalist elements who were doing politics within the framework of the Constitution. On the contrary, he said, such and other steps will strengthen the narrative of the elements working at the behest of foreign powers in Balochistan.

“A delay in the holding of elections within 60 days as provided under Article 224 of the Constitution will also affect the schedule of the election of the President of Pakistan whose term completes in the first week of September, 2018,” he maintained.

Rabbani contended that the judiciary while exercising judicial review in matters pertaining to or connected with the electoral process must keep in mind the statement of the Chief Justice of Pakistan that elections will be held on time and also the provisions of Article 224 of the Constitution.

“The Senate of Pakistan now remains as the only elected House functioning under the Constitution. As the Senate represents the provinces and has representation of all major political parties, therefore, a heavy responsibility rests on its shoulders, it needs to monitor and keep in check any or all state functionaries to ensure that the elections are held on July 25,” Rabbani said.

“I reiterate my demand made in my letters dated May 29 that the Senate be summoned or requisitioned immediately to remain in session till July 25 to ensure that elections are held on time in a free, fair and transparent manner as provided under the Constitution,” he said.