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General Elections in Pakistan Likely to be Postponed

General Elections in Pakistan Likely to be Postponed

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NEW DELHI, Jan 5: The Pakistan Senate on Friday approved a resolution seeking a delay in the February 8 general elections citing security concerns, media reports said.

The resolution presented by Senator Dilawar Khan was approved by the majority of lawmakers barring Pakistan Information Minister Murtaza Solangi and PML-N Senator Afnan Ullah who opposed the move.

The resolution stated: “The Constitution upheld the right to vote for every citizen of Pakistan and the Election Commission of Pakistan was bound to conduct free and fair polls in contingent upon inclusivity and ensuring the participation of all regional people.”

“The voter turnout in colder areas remains notably high during the moderate weather conditions. January and February are recognised as the coldest months in the majority of the areas in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa,” it stated.

As per the resolution, various political parties expressed their reservations regarding difficulties in ensuring participation in cold areas during the electoral process. “Recent attempts on the lives of JUI-F chief Fazlur Rehman, former lawmaker Mohsin Dawar, and other political figures had raised concerns about the safety of political leaders.”

“The Ministry of Interior has conveyed serious threats to the lives of prominent politicians increasing the challenges faced by political parties in exercising their right to a free and fair election,” the resolution noted.

It added that there has been a spike in attacks on security forces and citizens, particularly in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan. “The Senate of Pakistan hereby resolves that the conduct in elections without addressing legitimate concerns, facilitating sufficient opportunities for election campaign and guaranteeing the safety of politicians and citizens would amount to violation of fundamental rights.”

“The election schedule may be postponed to facilitate the effective participation of people from all areas of Pakistan and belonging to all political shades,” the resolution stated.

(Manas Dasgupta)

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