ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court has been urged to direct the interior secretary, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), and the chief secretaries to provide a level playing field to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) for free and fair election.

It also prayed that respondents may kindly be restrained from harassing the PTI workers/ leaders and may also kindly be allowed to participate in the election process without any discrimination, in the interest of justice.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Gohar Ali Khan, on Thursday, filed a petition under Article 184 (3) of the constitution and cited the Federation through secretary interior, ECP, chief secretaries of KPK, Punjab, Sindh, and Balochistan.

The PTI chairman said that the ECP is under a constitutional duty to conduct free and fair elections and to facilitate the largest and most popular political party in the country by providing a level playing field for the purpose of free and fair elections.

He submitted that under Article 218 (3) and Article 220 of the constitution, it is the constitutional responsibility of the Commission to hold and conduct free and fair elections and to make such arrangements as are necessary to ensure that the election is conducted honestly, justly, fairly, and in accordance with the law.

The petitioner stated that arresting, harassing, and snatching of nomination forms obtained from different returning officers from the workers and leaders of PTI is illegal, unlawful, and against the fundamental rights guaranteed under the constitution.

The returning officers and the ECP are under legal obligation to give free and fair environment and treat PTI at par with other political parties. Under Article 2A of the constitution, the principles and provisions set out in the objectives resolution are made substantive part of the constitution and shall have effect accordingly, wherein, it has been provided that the State shall exercise its powers and authority through the chosen representatives of the people and furthermore, it has also been clearly mentioned that the principles of democracy, freedom, equality, tolerance, and social justice, as enunciated by Islam, shall be fully observed.

Gohar submitted that not observing/ following/ implementing the cardinal principles of the Constitution is illegal, unlawful, malafide, discriminatory, and unconstitutional. It is obligatory upon the Commission to ensure that all contestants or candidates offering themselves for elections should have equal opportunities without any discrimination.

It is not providing the level playing field and harassing, threatening, abducting and snatching nomination forms from workers/ leaders of country’s largest political party, PTI, is a serious threat to democracy. Freedom to participate in the election process is not one of the essential elements to conduct free and fair election.

It is obligatory upon the body who is conducting the Election must be impartial, transparent and capable of enforcing the elector rules especially the elector code of conduct, Constitution, Rules and Act.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023


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Parvez Dec 22, 2023 12:26pm
That's like asking the arsonist to put out the fire.
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