As the date for upcoming polls well in the debate, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah on Tuesday reiterated that general elections would be held on October 8 under the caretaker setup.
Talking to journalists in Gujranwala today, he said the elections to national and provincial assemblies should be held at the same time according to the Constitution.
Berating Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan, the security czar said that the national economy was ruined due to the wrong policies of the past government. “Imran Khan is working on the agenda of spreading anarchy in the country.”
Sanaullah said that the accountability of everyone should be done across the board.
Last week, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) announced the postponement of the upcoming elections in Punjab — initially scheduled to be held on April 30 — citing security reasons as the major cause behind the change of plan.
In its notification, the electoral watchdog claimed that several senior-level members of the security agencies, including the police and the defence minister, and the federal government had recommended delaying the elections.
“Therefore, in the exercise of powers conferred upon it … the commission hereby withdraws the election programme issued vide Notification No. F. 2(3)/2023/Cord dated 8th March 2023 and fresh schedule will be issued in due course of time with the poll date on 8th October 2023.
Earlier today, Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial said the decision to postpone polls in Punjab was penned in haste by the ECP.
The CJP passed the remark after the Supreme Court resumed the hearing on Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf's (PTI) petition challenging the electoral authority's decision on the Punjab polls.
During the hearing, Justice Jamal Mandokhail asked the ECP what would become of the date for the election if its decision for delaying the vote was revoked.
The hearing was then postponed till 11:30am tomorrow (Wednsday).
While issuing notices to the ECP for dragging feet on polls in Punjab on Monday, the Supreme Court sought guarantees from the government and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) to bury the hatchet for free, fair, and transparent elections.
These developments came to the fore during the hearing of the plea regarding the date for general elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.