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General elections to be held after August 15: Ayaz Sadiq



  • Sadiq says first LG polls will be conducted in April 2023.
  • Advises CM Elahi to remain distant from Imran Khan. 
  • Blames Khan for rising terrorism in Pakistan. 

LAHORE: Economic Affairs Minister Ayaz Sadiq announced that the general elections will be conducted after August 2023 after the local government (LG) elections in April 2023, The News reported Monday.

The announcement was made by minister at a ceremony held in connection with Quaid-e-Azam’s birthday and Christmas on Sunday. 

Sadiq said the election will be held in 2023. “First we will go to local government elections in April 2023 and then general elections will be held after August 15,” he announced.

Speaking to journalists, Sadiq talked about the dissolution of assemblies and said if Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan wanted to dissolve the assemblies, he should have done it forthwith instead of giving dates.

“First he said he will fight his own battle and now he is looking towards the establishment to save him and bring him back to power,” Sadiq said adding Khan took massive loans during his tenure and that loans caused massive inflation in the country.

Quaid’s day

“Today is the birthday of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and without him, there would have been no Pakistan,” the PML-N leader said, paying rich tributes to the efforts of the Quaid for changing Pakistan from a thought into a reality.

He said the white part of Pakistan’s flag reflected the minorities, including Christians, Hindus, Sikhs, Parsis or any other religion and the state has promised to protect their rights. Sadiq said today was also the birthday of Hazrat Isa (peace be upon him).

“Today is the birthday of Nawaz Sharif who carried forward the tradition of Quaid-e-Azam Muslim League and made Pakistan prosper and stronger by doing nuclear tests,” the minister maintained.

CM Elahi should keep distance from Khan

The minister advised Punjab Chief Minister Parvez Elahi to distance himself from Khan and contest the next general elections without him because at that time there would be no support available to him from any side.

He further said that CM Elahi and his son Moonis were already fed up with Khan’s behaviour. “MQM and other parties left Imran because of his self-centric political approach.”

New wave of terrorism

Answering a question about the new wave of terrorism in the country,  Sadiq said that Khan has seen the result of talking to the Taliban as terrorism had started again in the country. “Imran Khan did not stop terrorism but started negotiations with those who martyred our children,” he maintained.

The minister said those who selected Khan and brought him to power in 2018 were responsible for the damage done to the country. The trade deficit reached $45 billion, he said, adding it seemed that Khan came to destroy the country. They also took money from Indians and then targeted the chairman of the Election Commission of Pakistan, he said.

He said Pakistan’s electricity and gas became very expensive due to khan’s policies.

Bajwa’s support

Sadiq said that in 2018, former army chief General (retd) Qamar Javed Bajwa supported Khan while Jahangir Tareen gave MPAs and Aleem Khan gave everything but Khan forgot everything and was talking openly against all three persons and even cases were filed against Tareen’s wife and daughter.

“I have known Imran Khan’s character since 1960. A person who uses mothers and sisters to take revenge for power is a small person,” he said adding Pakistan ML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz faced cameras in jail.

Making a mockery of Awami Muslim League (AML) chief Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, he said he never took the former interior minister seriously. 

If the PTI claims that their numbers were complete, then why CM Elahi did not take the vote of confidence on the governor’s constitutional order, he questioned. 

Speaking on the occasion, PML-N leader Khawaja Salman Rafique questioned the Pakistan Kidney & Liver Institute and Research Centre (PKLI) did not get funds, and how the poor people would be treated. “Why are you in such a hurry to dissolve the assembly, you are in power, serve the people,” he said.

‘PML-N ended terrorism, loadshedding’

Meanwhile, in another ceremony, PML-N leader Rana Mashhood said Pakistan was established under the Two Nation theory. He said Quaid-e-Azam created Pakistan so that Muslims could live a free life and after his death, those who took care of the country were also sidelined and conspiracies were hatched against politicians. 

He said elected representatives of the people should be allowed to make their own decisions and restoration of democracy was the demand of the people of Pakistan.

Mashhood said the PML-N ended terrorism and loadshedding while Khan brought back both. Party supremo Nawaz Sharif strengthened the country’s economy and gave big projects to the country and investments from foreign countries started to come.

“In 2018, Imran Khan was brought to power by stealing the election. During his tenure, horse-trading in the Senate was done openly but at that time it was right. Imran Khan himself said there is no better army chief than General Bajwa and now the same General Bajwa is responsible for everything done bad to the country during Imran Khan’s tenure,” he said.

Mashhood held Khan responsible for economic and other problems in the country because he was imposed on the people. Nawaz was fired for not taking salary from his son whereas Khan’s Banigala house was made legal, he said.


SC to hear reference against Zulfikar Ali Bhutto death sentence next week




  • Nine-member bench, headed by CJP, to hear reference.
  • Last hearing of reference was held on Nov 11, 2022.
  • SC to also hear IHC ex-judge Shaukat Siddiqui plea on removal.

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court is set to take up the 12-year-old presidential reference on revisiting the controversial death sentence awarded to former prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto next week, The News reported Friday. 

A nine-member larger bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Qazi Faez Isa, will hear the presidential reference on reconsideration of Bhutto’s death sentence judgment on December 12.

The decision to fix the instant case was made under Section 2(1) of the Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Act, 2023, by a three-member committee comprising CJP Isa, Justice Sardar Tariq Masood and Justice Ijazul Ahsan.

According to Supreme Court Registrar Jazeela Aslam, the other members of the larger bench are Justice Masood, Justice Mansoor Ali Shah, Justice Yahya Afridi, Justice Aminud Din Khan, Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail, Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar, Justice Syed Hasan Azhar Rizvi, and Justice Musarrat Hilali.

It is pertinent to mention that former president Asif Ali Zardari, on April 2, 2011, had approached the apex court through a presidential reference under Article 186 of the Constitution to seek its opinion on revisiting the trial of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) founder Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. The last hearing of the reference was held on November 11, 2022.

Earlier, an 11-member larger bench of the apex court, headed by former chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, had conducted five hearings in the presidential reference.

Babar Awan, the then federal law minister in the PPP regime, had earlier appeared as the federal government’s lawyer in the case and presented lengthy arguments. However, on January 17, 2012, Awan’s law practice license was suspended for criticising the court’s order in the Memogate case. Later, the case was adjourned due to a change of counsel who were appearing in the instant reference.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has also fixed the petition of sacked Islamabad High Court (IHC) Judge Shaukat Siddiqui challenging his removal for misconduct on December 14.

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ECP expected to announce election schedule on December 14




  • ECP has published final list of delimitations.
  • CEC says ECP aware of its duties regarding polls. 
  • Calls on public to participate in elections.

ISLAMABAD: Amid heightened political temperature in the country, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) is expected to announce the schedule for much-awaited general elections on December 14, The News reported Friday. 

Political parties are busy in electioneering and political wheeling and dealing to strengthen their position in the polls which are slated to take place on February 8 next year.

The electoral body recently published the final list of delimitations clearing a major hurdle to the announcement of the polls. It is in the final phase of appointment of district returning officers, returning officers and assistant officers as per the provisions of the Elections Act, 2017.

According to Sections 50 and 51 of the Elections Act, a district returning officer is appointed for each district or a specified area and a returning officer for each constituency for elections to an assembly. 

The provincial election commissioners as well as the Election Commission Secretariat have furnished lists of government officers for the election duty. Their appointment will follow the election-related training.

Separately, in a message on the occasion of National Voters Day, Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja said the printing and delivery of the final electoral rolls had been completed successfully. He said the ECP was fully cognisant of all its constitutional and legal responsibilities regarding elections and related matters. 

CEC Raja also referred to the Election Commission’s full preparedness and commitment and assured the voters of complete security, privacy and transparency throughout the election process. The chief election commissioner called on the public to participate in the polls to shape their bright future.

The Finance Division on Tuesday released Rs17.4 billion to the ECP for poll arrangements, putting to rest election delay rumours.

Last week, the ECP also notified the final list of delimitation of constituencies of the national and four provincial assemblies, paving the way for the announcement of the election schedule.

The CEC also reiterated that elections will take place at its scheduled time and maintained that the commission will ensure complete security during the polls.

He also urged the people to use their right to vote for the “bright future of the country and nation” and cooperate with the ECP to ensure peaceful elections.

Raja also reminded the people that they have “power of vote,” asking them to cast their ballot while keeping in view the future of their children.

National Voters Day is observed each year on December 7 to create awareness among the masses about the importance of vote registration and encourage the electorates to use the power of the ballot to elect their representatives.

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Zardari ropes in Balochistan electables as electioneering gears up




  • Former minister Sikandar Imrani among others join PPP.
  • Zardari welcomes Balochistan leaders into party’s fold.
  • Development comes amid heightened political activities.

Several electables from Balochistan including former chief minister and Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) leader Abdul Qudous Bizenjo joined the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) in the run-up to the February 8 elections.

The development came in a meeting with PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari in Lahore on Thursday, according to a statement issued on the party’s social media channel on Thursday.

During the meeting, former Balochistan minister Sikandar Imrani, Syed Nizamuddin, Syed Hameed, Naseer Ahmed Bizenjo and Mir Abdul Wahab Bizenjo also joined the PPP.

Zardari welcomed them into the party folds.

The development comes amid heightened political temperature in the country with political parties busy in electioneering and political wheeling and dealing to strengthen their position in the elections slated to take place on February 8, 2023.

Last month, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif succeeded in wooing at least two dozen prominent politicians from Balochistan into the party ranks.

The electables included Jam Kamal Khan, Mir Saleem Khosa, Noor Mohammad, Baba Buledi, Sardar Masood Luni, Rubaba Buledi, Sardar Abdul Rehman Khetran, Shoaib Nosherwani, Ramin Jan Muhammad Hassni and Muhammad Khan Lehri joined the PML-N ranks.

PPP leaders Saeedul Hassan Mandokhail, Sardar Fateh Muhammad, and Faiq Jamali jumped ship to join the PML-N.

From the National Party, Mujib Mohammad Hassni and former senator Dr Ashok Kumar, while Zeenat Shahwani of BNP-M and PTI’s Muhammad Jamali and Sardar Atif Sanjrani also joined the PML-N.

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