Punjab polls delay: Elections have been held in Pakistan despite terrorism, says SC
- SC asks government to give assurances that political temperature will be toned down
During a hearing related to the delay of elections in Punjab, Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial said on Wednesday that elections have been held in the country even as it faced terrorism for the past 20 years.
His remarks came as the Supreme Court (SC) resumed hearing the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) petition against the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) decision to delay polls to the Punjab Assembly.
During the hearing, the SC asked the government for assurances that the political temperature will be toned down. Later, it adjourned the hearing of the election delay case till Thursday.
The ECP on March 22 had decided to push Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa elections from April 30 to October 8, citing the deteriorating security situation in the country and the unavailability of finances and security personnel as reasons. This was challenged by the PTI in court.
ECP’s decision to postpone Punjab polls ‘taken in haste’: Chief Justice
A five-member bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial and comprising Justice Ijazul Ahsan, Justice Munib Akhtar, Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail and Justice Aminuddin Khan is conducting the hearing that began on Monday when Justice Munib Akhtar issued a notice to the ECP for delaying elections.
On Tuesday, Justice Bandial said that ECP’s decision to postpone Punjab assembly elections was “taken in haste”.
The chief justice said that this was the first time the Supreme Court is examining the possibility of postponing elections and questioned whether the constitution allows this. He also proposed a pay cut for himself and other judges to enable authorities to fund elections across the country.
Justices Mansoor Shah, Jamal Mandokhail call for revisiting CJP’s ‘one-man show’ in SC
Meanwhile, the National Assembly on Wednesday passed a bill aimed at curtailing the powers of the chief justice of Pakistan including revoking the power to take suo moto notice in an individual capacity.