Supreme Court moved to initiate contempt proceedings against senators seeking poll delay

Advocate Mirza prays to the court to ensure that elections are held on February 8

Maryam Nawaz
The facade of the Supreme Court of Pakistan. — Supreme Courts website
The facade of the Supreme Court of Pakistan. — Supreme Court's website

  • Advocate Ishtiaq Ahmed Mirza knocks on SC's doors.
  • He prays to court to ensure polls are held on Feb 8.
  • Senate passed resolution seeking delay in elections.

ISLAMABAD: A petition has been filed in the Supreme Court (SC) calling for contempt proceedings against senators involved in passing a resolution in the Senate that sought a further delay in the February 8 elections.

The elections are set to take place in 90 days when an assembly is dissolved, but the polls in all five legislative are yet to be held and they've already surpassed their constitutional limit.

The polls for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Punjab assemblies — dissolved in January last year — have not been held for around a year, while the national, Balochistan, and Sindh assemblies have been pushed past their limits as well already.

With the fears rife of delays, a petition was moved in the apex court earlier, following which the SC directed the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and President Arif Alvi to announce a date, which they did: February 8.

Days after the announcement, the top court also ruled that no objections could be raised on the delimitations after the announcement of the schedule for the general elections, virtually closing all doors for a delay in polls.

But on Friday, the Senate approved a non-binding resolution seeking a delay in the general elections, set to be staged on February 8, drawing strong criticism from major political parties.

Senator Dilawar Khan, an independent lawmaker, moved the resolution in the upper house of the parliament, which got the approval during the presence of 14 senators — who were the only lawmakers present in the house of 100.

In response, Advocate Ishtiaq Ahmed Mirza filed a petition in the top court today against Chairman Senate Sadiq Sanjrani, Senator Dilawar, and other lawmakers — including those from the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).

In the plea, Mirza prayed to the court to ensure that elections are held on 8 February as “certain number of days are required to do different acts which the law requires prior to the holding of the said elections and the impugned order passed at the eleventh hour if allowed to remain in the field would not permit the holding of elections on 8 February”.

Moreover, Jamaat-e-Islami’s (JI) Senator Mushtaq Ahmad Khan has also moved a resolution in the Senate calling for holding polls at their scheduled time, which is expected to be taken up for a vote in the next session.