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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has prayed to the Supreme Court (SC) that its judgement dated 04.04.2023 requiring elections to be held to the Punjab Assembly on 14.05.2023 be implemented in letter and spirit so that the Constitution is upheld and does not stand violated.

The PTI Committee that held dialogue with the political parties consisting of PDM/alliance in pursuance of the Supreme Court’s proposal on Wednesday submitted a concise statement regarding the dialogue.

The PTI team comprising Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi, PTI Senior Vice President Fawad Chaudhry, and Senator and Barrister Syed Ali Zafar held a meeting with the committee of PDM alliance, including inter alia Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Pakistan People’s Party Senator Yousaf Raza Gilani, Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique, and Commerce Minister Naveed Qamar and others on April 27 and 28 and May 2.

PTI seeks implementation of top court’s order on holding elections in Punjab

They said that the parties arrived at certain consensus;

i. Dialogue between political parties is important and the solution to all political questions ultimately lies with the political parties.

ii. Both teams shall endeavour to hold this dialogue with full sincerity and try to arrive at a solution which is (a) in the best interest of the people and Pakistan and (b) in accordance with law and the Constitution.

iii. This dialogue shall not be used as a delaying tactic and is without prejudice to and has no bearing on the judgement of the Supreme Court of Pakistan dated 04.04.2023 passed in Constitution Petition No5 of 2023 for holding of elections to the Punjab Assembly until and unless an agreement within the confines of the Constitution is arrived at between the parties and such agreement is implemented.

They maintained that it had been the stance of PTI that the elections to the Assemblies (Punjab and KP) have to be held within 90 days and that the Supreme Court of Pakistan has already fixed 14-05-23 for holding elections to the Punjab Assembly.

“This being the constitutional mandate, there is no scope for changing this date by ordinary consent of the parties.”

The request was accordingly made to the PDM/alliance to abide by the Constitutional provisions and the orders of the Supreme Court of Pakistan and hold the elections to the Punjab Assembly on 14.05.2023. It was also stressed that elections to KPK Assembly be held forthwith as well.

The stance of PDM/alliance, however, was that the elections to the National Assembly and all Provincial Assemblies should be held on the same date and therefore the elections to the Punjab and KPK Assemblies should also be held in October 2023 after the National Assembly and the Assemblies of Sindh and Balochistan will dissolve upon completion of their terms in second week of August 2023 i.e. in the second week of October 2023.

The statement pointed out that after full deliberations, PTI gave a proposal to PDM/alliance that PTI is willing to hold the elections to the National Assembly and all Provincial Assemblies on the same date subject to and conditional upon;

i. National Assembly and the Provincial Assemblies of Sindh and Balochistan be dissolved on or before 14th May 2023;

ii. The elections to the National Assembly as well as to the Provincial Assemblies of Sindh, Punjab, KPK and Balochistan be held together within 60 days of the dissolution of the National and Provincial Assemblies i.e. in the second week of July 2023;

iii. In order to give a Constitutional cover to the holding of the elections to the Provincial Assemblies of Punjab and KPK beyond the period of 90 days, the members of the National Assembly belonging to PTI will rejoin the National Assembly and a one-time constitutional amendment validating the delay in elections beyond the period of 90 days for Punjab and KPK Assemblies shall be carried out by mutual consent of the political parties;

iv. All the parties shall agree that the election results shall be accepted as a whole subject to individual grievances in accordance with law; and

v. An Agreement in writing to the above effect shall be submitted before the Hon’ble Supreme Court of Pakistan in order to ensure that the implementation of the Agreement is complied with by the parties in letter and spirit.

The PDM/alliance however did not agree with this proposal. Instead, they have proposed that the dissolution of the National Assembly and the Provincial Assemblies of Sindh and Balochistan shall take place on the 30th July 2023 and elections be held in 90 days, thereafter, i.e. the first week of October 2023 for the National Assembly and the Provincial Assemblies of Punjab, Sindh, KPK and Balochistan together. There is also a lack of consensus between the parties in relation to the process for the implementation of the Agreement namely through the constitutional amendment.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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