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Election 2024

Senate Receives Third Resolution Proposing Election Delay

Senate Receives Third Resolution Proposing Election Delay

As electoral activities gain momentum in the country, a third resolution advocating a postponement of the February 8 polls has reached the Senate, this time citing weather conditions and security concerns in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

On January 5, a sparsely attended session of the upper house stirred controversy by adopting a resolution, though non-binding, calling for the delay of general elections due to security and adverse weather conditions. This resolution, introduced by independent Senator Dilawar Khan, found support primarily among senators from the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP). Surprisingly, it also garnered tacit support from other parties, raising questions due to the absence of lawmakers from mainstream political parties.

Read more : BAP Defends Senate Resolution for Election Delay, Calls for ECP Review

Senator Bahramand Tangi of the PPP not only remained silent during the voice vote but also delivered a speech emphasizing the necessity for peace before the polls. His actions led to a show-cause notice from his party for deviating from its policy. The passage of the resolution faced condemnation from politicians and lawyers, labeling it a “conspiracy against democracy” and asserting the importance of holding timely elections.

In response, Senator Mushtaq Ahmed Khan submitted a resolution in the Senate, emphasizing the need to adhere to “constitutional requirements” and ensure the punctual conduct of the polls. Senators from the PTI, PPP, and Jamaat-i-Islami later requisitioned a session to discuss the timely conduct of free and fair polls.

However, on Friday, independent Senator Hidayatullah submitted a second resolution to the upper house, advocating a delay in the polls. This resolution cited the surge in terrorism and violence in the country, specifically mentioning armed attacks in North Waziristan, Bajaur, and Turbat, causing injuries to a nationalist politician and the killing of another candidate. It urged the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and the Supreme Court to consider postponing the polls for three months in light of security challenges, during which the government should ensure a level playing field for all political parties and candidates.

Today, a third resolution, submitted by independent Senator Hilalur Rehman from KP, cites cold weather and increasing terrorism in the region as grounds for delaying the polls. It contends that harsh weather conditions and snow are not conducive for citizens to cast votes and pose challenges for candidates campaigning. Security concerns in KP, especially the threat of terrorist attacks during campaigns, are creating obstacles and limiting candidates’ participation. The resolution argues that due to these factors, the people and candidates in the province, particularly from erstwhile Fata, are adversely affected. It urges the ECP to delay the polls to a more suitable date, acceptable to all stakeholders, facilitating free and fair elections by removing obstacles.