The Supreme Court of Pakistan has issued notices to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for delaying the general elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. During the hearing of the plea regarding the election dates, a larger bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial sought guarantees from the government and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) for free, fair, and transparent elections. The court also issued notices to governors of two provinces through the chief secretary.
The chief justice emphasized that the parties should evaluate what is best for the public and what assurances they can provide for peaceful and transparent elections. He remarked that the Constitution of Pakistan was not made solely for setting up or toppling governments, but to uphold the life and happiness of the people. He also expressed concern about the current political situation in the country, describing it as alarming due to political intolerance and politicians being at each other’s throats.
The PTI moved the apex court following the ECP decision to postpone the Punjab polls from April 30 to October 8 after financial and security authorities expressed their inability to support the electoral process. In light of the Supreme Court’s split ruling last month, President Arif Alvi announced the date for the Punjab polls after consulting with the ECP.
The bench, which included Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan, Justice Munib Akhtar, Justice Amin-Ud-Din Khan, and Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail, also questioned the performance of leaders in the country and the ECP’s decision to postpone the elections. The court was determined to dispose of the case as soon as possible and asked the Election Commission to answer the questions raised in PTI’s petition.
Overall, the Supreme Court’s move is a significant step toward ensuring transparency and fairness in the upcoming elections. The court’s emphasis on upholding the Constitution and serving the people’s interests reflects a commitment to democracy and good governance. It remains to be seen how the parties involved will respond to the court’s notice and what assurances they will provide for free and fair elections.