New resolution seeking polls postponement lands in Senate

New resolution seeking polls postponement lands in Senate

Independent Senator Hilal-ur-Rehman submits a resolution to Senate Secretariat

Khayam Abbasi

ISLAMABAD: Another resolution has been submitted to the Senate Secretariat on Sunday seeking a delay in the general elections slated for February 8 citing harsh weather conditions and security situation as reasons for deferring the polls.

The third resolution seeking to defer elections in the country has been submitted by an independent senator from erstwhile FATA, Hilal-ur-Rehman, in the Senate, only two days after an identical resolution was moved in the upper house of parliament.

In the resolution, Senator Rehman said extreme cold weather and snowfall would create difficulties for the citizens to cast ballots in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. He also highlighted that candidates participating in the polls encountered numerous challenges in running election campaigns.

The resolution also mentioned that the candidates are wary of terrorist attacks amid “security concerns” in KP.

It said the voters and candidates had a sense of deprivation in the province as the election date in KP is proving to be “infeasible” for the voters in the province.

“Hence, the elections should be deferred to a suitable date from February 8,” the resolution demanded.

Another independent senator, Hidayat Ullah, had submitted a resolution on January 12 calling for postponing the February 8 general elections in view of the “security challenges”.

The resolution said the upper house “calls upon the Election Commission of Pakistan and the Supreme Court” to consider holding peaceful elections and postpone the polls for three months in view of the “security challenges”.

The resolution also expressed concerns over “rising incidents” of targeting of the candidates contesting the upcoming elections.

To the surprise and disbelief of many, on January 5, the Senate unanimously passed a resolution to postpone the February 8 general elections in the country.

Majority of the lawmakers present in the legislature had approved the resolution — seeking polls delay in the light of extreme weather in hilly areas and the deteriorating security situation — moved by independent lawmaker Senator Dilawar Khan.

During the passage of the resolution, only 14 senators were present in the 100-strong Senate. Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Senator Afnanullah Khan and caretaker Information Minister Murtaza Solangi had opposed the resolution while PPP’s Senator Bahramand Khan Tangi and PTI’s Senator Gurdeep Singh remained silent.

However, no one raised the quorum of the House during the moving and passage process of the resolution in the Senate.

Speaking in the Senate, mover Dilawar Khan had said that there was a severe winter season in some parts of the country.

He said that there are security threats to the leaders of some political parties and intelligence agencies have issued a security alert of attacks on rallies.

Senator Dilawar said the issue of COVID-19 is also there, so the elections on February 8 should be postponed.