Tuesday Feb 23, 2021
ISLAMABAD: Attorney-General for Pakistan Khalid Jawed Khan told a Supreme Court bench on Tuesday that if the case pertaining to the presidential ordinance that seeks an opinion on holding an open ballot for the Senate elections is not wrapped up by Wednesday, then the Election Commission of Pakistan will not be able to hold the elections on schedule.
The government's lawyer's remarks came during a hearing conducted by a five-member bench of the apex court which was presided over by Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed.
PPP Senator Raza Rabbani, who has argued against the open ballot throughout the proceedings, said that the Constitution of Pakistan does not call upon the voter to identify his vote.
"The law will make its own way where votes are bought and sold," argued Rabbani. "If corrupt practices take place before voting, then there is no logic in looking at the votes."
At this, Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan asked the former Senate chairman whether there is any mechanism through which the secrecy of the vote is not affected and the vote cast is also checked.
"The law is completely innocent and blind," remarked the chief justice."Isn't there any system available through which we can find out who voted for whom? If bribes are attached with the votes, how can we not review [the process]," he asked.
The chief justice stressed that every person is against corruption and corrupt practices. "We don't want this entire exercise [Senate elections] to go to waste," he said.
During the hearing, the attorney-general said that when it comes to presidential ordinances, no one has the right to present their arguments except for political parties. "Bar councils have nothing to do with political matters," he said. "I am completely against their arguments being heard."
The Supreme Court urged all parties concerned to wrap up their arguments within half an hour each on Wednesday.
The JUI-F and JI agreed with the arguments presented by PPP's Raza Rabbani.