Aaj English TV

Wednesday, June 19, 2024  
12 Dhul-Hijjah 1445  

Official Secrets Act amended to control reaction to delayed elections: Mushtaq

Adds that things indicate elections could be delayed 6 months
File photo.
File photo.

Jamat-e-Islami’s Senator Mushataq Ahmad said that changes to the Official secrets Act had been made in a hurry in order to be able to deal with any reaction to electins being delayed in the country.

Speaking to Munizae Jahangir in Spotlight, Senator Mushtaq said that both the statements from members of the cabinet, as well as the legislation done in the last few days was indicating that the elections would be delayed by atleast six months.

He added that additional powers given to the caretaker governments were against the spirit of the constitution. He said the caretaker setups had even been given the right to extend their tenure.

Mushtaq said that it had been apparent to him at the time of legislation as it is apparent now, that the government does not intend to hold elections on time.

He also said that the results of the 2023 census had been illegally approved by the Council of Common Interests as the Election Act did not allow caretaker chief ministers to sit in the body’s meetings.

Mushtaq said that not only he but many lawyers were intending to approach the court to get elections done on time by challenging the government’s election. He added that the Senate resolution for timely elections will also help in this regard.

He reiterated that delaying elections in KP and Punjab was the wrong decision and general elections should be held in November.

Mushtaq said that many objectionable parts of the PEMRA bill had been removed, but the government had not gone all the way in its efforts to fix the bill.

He added that the PEMRA chairman should not only be accountable to the parliamentary committee but also should be appointed by it. He also added that the jurisdiction of the courts had been limited but was being misrepresented by the government.

Caretaker govt should ensure continuity: Dastgir

Energy Minister Khurram Dastgir said that the names of the people in the running for caretaker PM could not be disclosed because nothing is official yet.

However, he added that the matter will be finalised between the prime minister and the opposition leader and will not have to involve the parliamentary committee.

Dastgir added that there had been some economic stability gained by the country in recent months and it was necessary that it should continue. He said that whoever was appointed to the caretaker government should be able to take the stability forward. He said that the 90-day gap should not become a vaccum for economic development.

When asked if Ishaq Dar was still in the race as someone who could handle the economy, Dastgir replied he ‘could’ be a strong candidate. He added that there was no restriction on Dar since he is a senator.

However, he said that the caretaker PM had to be made throgh consensus. He added that saying that the caretaker PM should not have any past affiliation with a political party was not an argument of significant value in today’s Pakistan, because all election related matters had been delegated to the ECP.

When asked about Jalil Abbas Jilani, Dastgir said he was an ‘able’ diplomat but the name had to be decided through consensus.

Regarding Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Dastgir said that the party preferred for the former prime minister to contest elections instead of being in the caretaker setup.

Dastgir said that Pakistan had gone through a difficult phase where investements from abroad had dried up. Therefore the Special investment facilitation council had been setup to make sure that the process of investment would not stop even if a caretaker government was in charge of the country.

He added that any privatisation projects would be best handled with finality by an elected government.

Dastgir said that agreements for many IPPs were due to expire in the next two to three years so Pakistan will be free of the problem of capacity payments.

He added that Pakistan will look towards elecricity from sources that would not need to be imported: this would include, thermal, solar, wind, nuclear and hydel.

How successful was the National Assembly

Aaj correspondent Naveed Akbar said that the greatest success of the assembly was that democracy managed to continue.

He added that the biggest failure of the assembly was that a house of 342 members was run with only 219 members.

Akbar added that the removal of a prime minister through a vote of no confidence for the first time in the country’s history could also be considered a success.

He also said that while the assembly had done record legislation in its tenure, the members were often reduced to saying yes or no only.

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general elections

senator mushtaq