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Saturday, July 13, 2024  
06 Muharram 1446  

Don’t see elections happening: Aitzaz Ahsan

Says chief election commissioner is responsible for delay in collection

Pakistan Peoples Party leader Aitzaz Ahsan has said that he does not see elections taking place.

Speaking to Asma Shirazi in an exclusive interview, Ahsan added that the matter had been so complicated by the approval of the census that there was no assembly to pass a constitutional amendment for reallocation of seats because the assembly has been dissolved.

However, he said that a ‘chicken and egg’ problem had been created as elections without reallocation of seats would always be controversial.

Ahsan also said that that the matter of the president has also been complicated as the electoral college to elect him does not exist.

When asked why PPP was objecting to election delay when it had agreed to the new census results, Ahsan said that the agreement did not agree to delaying elections.

He said that the excuse of delimitations could not be used to delay elections when the constitution clearly said that elections sdhould be held within 90 days.

Ahsan said that the language of the constitution said ‘no later than 90 days’ which imposed an imperative in a stronger sense than saying that it had to be fixed within a certain frame.

He also held the chief election commissioner responsible for not holding elections within 90 days and said he had complicated the matter.

Ahsan said that no matter who was the president, it was not the CEC’s stature to deny an invitation for a meeting. He said that it was possible to meet the president and respectfully tell him about the constrainsts new laws placed on him.

However, he also clarified that using amendments in the election delay to say that the election date had to be announced by the CEC was ‘completely wrong’.

Ahsan said that the amendments to the election law and any other law that was in conflict with the constitution could not have an effect.

If not elections, then what?

Ahsan said that the chief electio commissioner had pushed Pakistan into a blind alley and he has joked with friends that another Movement for Restoration of Democracy would have to be organised.

When asked if the movement would include PTI, Aitzaz said that in Pakistan ‘nothing can be predicted but the past’.

May 9 and Imran’s release

Ahsan said that it did not seem that Imran Khan would be released because the sentence should have been suspended without notice on the very first day. He said that it was unusual that the decision was reserved.

He also added that the cipher case against Imran Khan was ‘absolutely senseless’ because a chief executive could decide if a classififed document had to be brought to public notice.

He said that the events of May 9 has destroyed politics. He added that final answers on May 9 will never be provided and even if the matter is buried, it will be buried alive unless the IG Punjab was able to explain how 18 places in the province was attacked but his officials did nothing. He said the same for the colonels in Lahore who had not responded the attack on the Corps Commander House.

Differences with the party

Aitzaz Ahsan denied the impression that he had been called to the PPP’s Central Executive Committee meeting after a long time. He added that he has conitnuously been invited to the meetings and has attended on Zoom when appearing in-person was not possible.

When asked what led to speculation about his differences with the party, Ahsan said that people try to make something out of everything and he had no problems with the PPP.

However, he added that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan was an old friend and neighbor and he had gone to visit him when his government was removed and also when he was attacked.

Ahsan added that he had not met Imran very often, but he had never been asked about it by either Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Asif Ali Zardari.

He said that there was group within the PPP’s Lahore chapter that was against him.

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Aitzaz Ahsan