Ahsan asks SC to review order for Punjab, KP polls

Muhammad Saleh Zaafir
Saturday, Mar 18, 2023

ISLAMABAD: The ruling Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) has asked the Supreme Court to review its decision on holding polls for Punjab and KP provincial assemblies.

“If the apex court doesn’t revise its judgement, it could result in a permanent political crisis in the country and cause irreparable harm to national unity,” these views were expressed by PMLN Secretary General o and Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Ahsan Iqbal in an interview on Friday. He claimed the verdict had been made in haste, which would have harmful consequences.

He was of the view that in case polls for the Punjab Assembly were held now and after six months, elections for the National Assembly took place, it would become a permanent cycle. “The party that will have its government in Punjab, being the biggest province of the country, exploiting its clout being the ruling party and using resources at its disposal, would manage a majority in the national legislature that would ensure the formation of its government in the Centre every time,” he argued.

He said, “Other provinces will see this all with utter helplessness. The sense of political deprivation could cost the country heavily and it could shatter the foundations of the country.” He impressed upon the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to look into the horrifying aspects of the decision and exercise its authority to deal with the situation. Ahsan Iqbal was of the opinion that the Supreme Court had given the judgment without applying its mind properly. He disputed the claim of the PTI that the government wanted to nab its chief Imran Khan.

He claimed that had the government wanted to arrest Imran, it could do it in its first or maximum second month of rule although it had sufficient evidence of his crimes. “The government doesn’t want to give an iota of doubt that it is engaged in the victimization of Imran.”

He emphasized that it was a court order that had to be implemented but instead Imran resorted to using violence, petrol bombs, pelting stones and other nefarious actions. “The arrest of Imran isn’t the priority of the government,” he said. To a question, he said the PMLN was fully prepared for upcoming polls but elections shouldn’t harmful for the unity of the country. The federal minister said that Imran had committed a suicide attack against the democratic system as he was responsible for the situation in the Zaman Park. “The PTI has acted like a terrorist group. Imran has been committing accesses against the judiciary but the institution is providing him with relief,” he added.

Welcoming the PTI offer for negotiating with the government, he said the government was willing to talk to Imran but he should first act upon court orders. He demanded that without a level playing field, the outcome of polls wouldn’t be acceptable to the people of the country. He recalled that Nawaz Sharif became a victim of an intrigue that also ruined the country. “First of all such acts must be nullify so that the most popular leader of the country should be available to the people in the election contest.”

The PMLN Secretary General claimed that his party had an alive narrative through its performance of 2013-18 under Nawaz Sharif, when under his leadership the party turned around the country. Currently the country is again facing the similar circumstances and the PMLN will turn it around yet another time, he added.