Postpone Elections

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Ali Anwar

The Senate passed the resolution to postpone the general elections to be held on February 8 in the country by a majority vote.
Senator Dilawar Khan presented a resolution to postpone the general elections, in which it has been stated that there is severe cold in most of the areas, due to which it is difficult for these areas to participate in the election process.
Interim caretaker Information Minister Murtaza Solangi and PML-N Senator Afnan Ullah Khan both opposed the resolution, which was moved by independent Senator Dilawar Khan during a session with only 14 lawmakers in attendance. The Upper House of the Parliament has a total of 100 members.
As he read the resolution out loud, Dilawar said the Constitution upheld the right to vote for every citizen of Pakistan and the Election Commission of Pakistan was bound to conduct free and fair polls contingent upon inclusivity and ensuring the participation of all regional people.
The vote turnout in colder areas remains notably high during the moderate weather conditions. January and February are recognised as the coldest months in the majority of the areas in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, he said.
Dilawar noted that various political parties had expressed their reservations regarding difficulties in ensuring participation in cold areas during the electoral process. He expressed great concern on the recent attempts on the lives of JUI-F chief Fazlur Rehman, former lawmaker Mohsin Dawar, and other political figures. The Ministry of Interior has conveyed serious threats to the lives of prominent politicians increasing the challenges faced by political parties in exercising their right to a free and fair election,” Dilawar said.
He further highlighted that there had been a spike in attacks on security forces and citizens, particularly in KP and Balochistan. The intelligence agencies have warned of militant attacks threats on election rallies in both provinces.
The senator said alerts had been issued by intelligence agencies indicating imminent threats of militant attacks on election rallies, which could have a potential impact on the safety of citizens and the democratic electoral process.
Cognisant of the resurgence of Covid-19 in the country and the health sector’s concerns about the potential further spread reaffirm that while holding the judgment of the Supreme Court regarding the election date in the highest esteem, the Senate of Pakistan, being the defender of the rights of the federating units is obligated to ensure the constitutional guarantees and eliminate fears of the smaller provinces, especially vulnerable geographical territories.
The Senate of Pakistan hereby resolves that the conduct in elections without addressing legitimate concerns, facilitating sufficient opportunities for election campaign and guaranteeing the safety of politicians and citizens would amount to violation of fundamental rights,Dilawar added..
The election schedule may be postponed to facilitate the effective participation of people from all areas of Pakistan and belonging to all political shades, he demanded, adding that the delay aims to uphold constitutional rights to political participation.
In my opinion, this decision to postpone the Senate elections reflects the current state of the country. Given the prevailing circumstances with terrorism resurfacing, challenging weather conditions, and the ongoing economic difficulties, it was crucial to make this decision. Instead of criticizing it, political parties should seriously consider it. If elections are held by October or November 2024, it will suitable for country.
Considering economic improvements and better weather, having an election at that time could avoid any objection from political parties. The Pakistan’s military leadership policies has set the country on the right path.
In an unprecedented address at the National Farmers’ Convention, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Syed Asim Munir vowed to combat mafias in unison with the nation, underlining the critical importance of national unity and progress.
Amidst swirling rumors and negative narratives circulating about Pakistan, General Asim Munir emphasized the nation’s resilience, invoking the founding principles that crafted two sovereign states – the State of Medina and Pakistan.
Addressing the crowd, he rallied against the proliferation of false information on social media platforms, asserting that such misinformation only undermines the state’s existence and stability. It is essential to conduct the postponed elections and bring about changes in governance to benefit the people.
Care taker cm of punjab Mohsin Naqvi’s focus on Lahore in his performance is evident, with most development projects underway in the city. I would like to suggest maintaining ministers in the caretaker government whose performance is commendable, while those falling short of expectations should be replaced. Additionally, Mohsin Naqvi should diversify his efforts beyond Lahore, especially in Southern Punjab, where people are waiting, and projects for Bahawalnagar and Bahawalpur should also be prioritized.
Southern Punjab lacks representation in the current cabinet, and it is essential to have someone from this region in the caretaker cabinet. This will help address the region’s deprivation and bring about positive changes.

The writer is an old Aitchisonian who believes in freedom of expression, a freelance columnist, entrepreneur and social activist.