- Imran Khan alleges PML-N will rig elections because it knows PTI will win.
- Khan urges supporters to guard polling stations on day of elections.
- “Lahore belongs to party supremo Nawaz Sharif and will always belong to him,” says Maryam Nawaz.
PTI Chairman Imran Khan and PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz have, over the last few weeks, addressed many public gatherings in different parts of Punjab ahead of the by-elections in the province that are set to take place on July 17.
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had unseated the 25 dissident members of the PTI who voted for Chief Minister Hamza Shahbaz against their party lines when electing Punjab’s chief minister.
The decision came during the announcement of the verdict in a case pertaining to the dissident members of the Punjab Assembly (MPAs), leaving 20 seats of the Punjab Assembly vacant.
In a bid to win his follower’s support, PTI Chairman Imran Khan Friday addressed his last election jalsas in Faisalabad and Lahore, claiming that his party was going to win all the 20 constituencies.
During the public gathering, the former prime minister alleged that the PML-N was preparing to rig the elections because the party knows that PTI will clean sweep all the constituencies.
“They will break all the records of rigging the elections,” he said while urging his supporters to guard the polling stations on the day of the elections.
Khan said that his party will win against Hamza despite his party’s efforts to rig the elections. “We will celebrate Hamza Shahbaz’s loss,” he added.
Taking a dig at the incumbent government, Khan said the United States imposed these “thieves” upon us so that it could use and discard them like “tissue papers”.
“America does not want Pakistan’s betterment, it only wants to enslave our nation,” said the ex-premier, adding that he does not want enmity with any nation but to be treated as equals.
The PTI chairman vowed to fight against the incumbent government, saying that he will move the Supreme Court. “The Sharif and Zardari families have never done anything sincere during their lives. They have been begging for the last 32 years now,” said Khan.
He said that PML-N Vice-President Maryam Nawaz was the owner of expensive properties in London, adding that “it is a pity that our justice system cannot hold these thieves accountable.”
Highlighting the efforts by the PTI government, Khan said that his party did not increase the prices of commodities in the country despite International Monetary Fund (IMF’s) pressure. “We provided health insurance, loans, and the industrial sector was developing during our tenure,” added the former PM.
“The government increased the price of diesel by Rs130 and then brought it down by Rs40. Today, the price of petrol should have been Rs150 and diesel should have been Rs154,” said the PTI leader.
‘Good times ahead’
On the other hand, Maryam addressed a public gathering in Lahore, saying that she was “proudly campaigning for her brother Hamza as the Chief Minister of Punjab.”
Praising CM Hamza for his efforts, Maryam said that the chief minister cleaned the whole province within 24 hours after Eid ul Adha. “This year, the government did not only clean Lahore, but the whole province,” she added.
During her address at Lahore’s PP-168 constituency, the PML-N leader said that “good times were ahead and the difficult times have passed.”
“Lahore belongs to party supremo Nawaz Sharif and will always belong to him and if the PTI’s incompetent government had remained in power for another year, it would have ruined the whole city,” said Maryam.
She went on to say that those eyeing Lahore with bad intentions will lose on July 17. “This is not a war between PTI and PML-N, this is the war for Punjab and Lahore’s development,” added the PML-N vice president.
Talking about the oil prices, Maryam said that the prices will further decrease if they fall in the global market.
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.
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.
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.