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Wednesday, June 19, 2024  
12 Dhul-Hijjah 1445  

Next elections will be most controversial in history: Hamid Mir

Naseem Zehra says elections in 2023 not possible
File photo.
File photo.

Analysts Naseem Zehra said that elections do not seem possible before February, with Hamid Mir adding that whenever they were held, the polls would be the most controversial in the country’s history.

Speaking to Munizae Jahangir in ‘Spotlight’, Naseem Zehra said that there was no way elections would be held in 2023, but ‘could be’ held in 2024.

She added that questions were also being raised on whether the Council of Common Interests was finctioning lawfully because two provinces were being represented by caretaker chief ministers.

Zehra added that internal rumours indicated that things could be delayed a long time.

Hamid Mir added that using the CCI decision to call for delimitations was an ‘excuse’ and was ‘self created’ to delay elections.

He added that touting the delay in Punjab and KP elections to talk of delay in elections in the rest of country was also not a valid reason.

Mir said that August marked 50 years of the 1973 consitution, but the constitution was being twisted to delay elections which amounted to enmity against the constitution.

Zehra added that she could not think of any other example when the constitution was broken in the manner it was being done these days. She said that it was the thinking in certain quarters that elections could not be held before a certain amount of political engineering.

She said that the role of the new chief justice, politicians and civil society would be crucial in determining how efforts agaisnt the constitution would be countered.

Mir said that the actual point of delaying elections was to prevent Imran Khan from contesting and the direction of things was unlikely to change soon.

He said whenever the constitution of 1973 had been broken it had been restored, because it was passed by an elected parliament and had the support of the people.

Zehra said she had no expectation from political parties seeing the way that legislation had been bulldozed through the parliament in recent days. She added that all parties were trying to stay in good books for the next elections.

Mir said that the actions of the caretaker government in the upcoming days would make it clear where things would go in the recent days. He added that many reservations against the government were well founded.

He said that the upcoming elections would be the most controversial in the history of the country.

He added that new people will join the IPP and PTI-P soon which will be aimed at dealing with both the PPP and the PTI. He said that these parties will be made more prominent in upcoming days.

Zehra said that the role of the Supreme Court will be important, but Mir said that he did not have very high hopes of Qazi Faez Isa based on his past conduct.

Sarfaraz Bugti

Former Balochistan minister Sarfaraz Bugti said he did not have any information about whther he would be added to the caretaker cabinet.

However, he said that if made interior minister his priority would be protection of life and property of the ordinary citizen. He said that Pakistan’s law enforcement faced a capacity problem but efforts had to be made.

On elections, Bugti said his assessment was the organising elections was no longer the prerogative of the government but had to be decided by the election commission. He said that the ECP had been given the mandate for delimitations but he could see a delay in elections on the cards.

Bugti added that while elections were required in 90 days as per the constitution, the same book also demanded that the elections should be fair. For fair elections, he added, one major element was that the polling day should be handled smoothly. He added delimitations had to be done properly because they were a major component in ensureing level playing field.

He added that delimitations were not a rocket science and could be done by ECP easily within three months. He said that the process of appeals might extend the process another month or two

Regarding PTI, Bugti said that the court had to decide when to release Imran Khan. He said that the right to assembly had been misused by the PTI to attack state institutions.

Bugti added that he saw terrorism increasing in coming months because of a lack of consistency in policies. He said a singular mindset needed to be achieved against violence and talk of rehabilitating terrorists was useless.

He added that in the missing persons issue, the government has always gone towards negotiations. He said that the state had taken a softer approach in many examples where treason cases were appropriate.

He said that missing person were a serious issue, the numbers were ‘dicey’.

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Hamid Mir

general elections

naseem zehra