- Three-judge special bench adjourns hearing
- Hearing was for petition to hold elections across country on same day
Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial remarked on Thursday that the top court could not force the government to hold dialogue with the opposition, Aaj News reported.
Earlier, a Supreme Court three-judge special bench took up a petition for holding elections across the country on the same day and not releasing Rs21 billion to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for holding elections in Punjab next month.
Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Ijazul Ahsan, and Justice Munib Akhtar are hearing the case. However, the hearing was adjourned with the CJP saying that an order would be issued later.
During the previous hearing, the bench had ordered the attorney general to file a progress report on April 27 (today) regarding political dialogue for holding elections simultaneously of the National Assembly and all the provincial assemblies.
The apex court has asked all political parties to come up with a consensus on the date for holding simultaneous general elections quickly, otherwise, the court noted, its order regarding the Punjab Assembly elections on May 14 would come into force.
The issue of elections has been a contentious and controversial one ever since the Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assemblies were dissolved earlier this year. While the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has called for polls in the two provinces to be held as soon as possible, the government wants elections to the National Assembly and all provinces to be held at the same time later in the year.
A Supreme Court verdict earlier directed that elections for Punjab and KP be held on May 14, and it had also ordered the government to give the ECP Rs21 billion for this purpose.
Cabinet refers summary to parliament
On Wednesday, the cabinet referred the summary of the Finance Ministry with regard to the provision of Rs21 billion to the parliament after approval.
Meanwhile, PM Shehbaz said the coalition government agreed that elections all over the country should be held at the same time in October or November, after holding a parliamentary meeting in Lahore.
PM Shehbaz said that it was important to tell the public that the PTI, instead of helping the government solve the current challenges, exploited the situation.
All-out efforts were made to spread anarchy and create division in society, and even the Pakistan Army and its leadership were not spared, he said.
However, combined efforts of everyone in the government, including the finance minister and the foreign minister, helped Pakistan’s situation improved considerably.