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As Pakistan’s general elections approach, third Senate resolution calls for poll delay

PoliticsAs Pakistan's general elections approach, third Senate resolution calls for poll delay

Ahead of the general elections in Pakistan, the Senate received a third resolution on Sunday, pushing for a postponement of the February 8 polls. Independent Senator Hilalur Rehma from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa submitted the resolution, citing adverse weather conditions and escalating security issues in the region.

The resolution highlights the challenges posed by harsh winter conditions and increasing incidents of terrorism in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, asserting that these factors are hindering citizens from participating in the electoral process and creating obstacles for candidates engaged in campaigning.

Highlighting security concerns, especially in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the resolution draws attention to the threats faced by candidates due to the risk of terrorist attacks during their campaign activities, further limiting their participation. It contends that these circumstances are adversely affecting the people of the province, particularly candidates from the erstwhile Fata region.

This latest resolution follows a previous one passed on January 5, seeking to delay the elections due to security concerns, primarily supported by Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) senators. The absence of lawmakers from mainstream political parties during the vote raised questions, and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Senator Bahramand Tangi, who remained silent during the voice vote, later received a show-cause notice for deviating from his party’s policy.

In response to the initial resolution, Senator Mushtaq Ahmed Khan submitted another resolution urging adherence to “constitutional requirements” and emphasizing the importance of holding timely elections.

Subsequently, Independent Senator Hidayatullah submitted a second resolution, citing a surge in terrorism and violence across the country.

The second resolution specifically mentioned armed attacks in North Waziristan, Bajaur, and Turbat, resulting in injuries to a veteran nationalist politician and the death of another candidate. It called on the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and the Supreme Court to consider the security challenges and postpone the polls for three months, during which the government should ensure a level playing field for all political parties and candidates.

The resolution also highlighted a growing “sense of deprivation” among citizens of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, suggesting that the current election date is unsuitable for the province. It urged the ECP to reschedule the polls to a date acceptable to all stakeholders, promoting the prospects of free and fair elections.
(Inputs from ANI)

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