Qureshi demands holding free, fair elections within stipulated 90 days
Urges issue of delimitation can’t be taken as a pretext to delay elections
Says keeping Khan in sub-human conditions to be a slur on face of administrative, judicial dispensation
Asks now time to administer healing process, as his predecessors put country on verge of constitutional collapse
ISLAMABAD: /DNA/ – Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Vice Chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi congratulated Anwar-ul-Haq Kakar on assuming the office of Caretaker Prime Minister and demanded him to ensure holding free, fair and transparent general elections within constitutionally mandated timeframe after creating a conducive environment for all political parties and their candidates by guaranteeing their safety and security.
In his letter to the Caretaker Prime Minister written on behalf of the PTI Core Committee, PTI Vice Chairman: “We write to you at a critical time when the country is on the verge of constitutional collapse owing to the manner your predecessors dealt with various challenges.”
He said that instead of making the state institutions work in tandem, they manoeuvred to pit one against the other in an effort to create space and free themselves of the looming burden of accountability, causing immense damage to the foundations of the state.
Qureshi stated that they also used state institutions wantonly to target PTI with an intention to drive it out of the election race.
“The abominable and sub-human conditions under which Chairman Imran Khan is being kept at Attock jail would be a horrible slur on the face of the administrative and judicial dispensation of any country. He is being routinely denied his basic rights as guaranteed by the constitution and the prison rules,” he added.
PTI Vice Chairman said: “We also fear that his life is threatened in the conditions he is surviving under. We would urge you to take immediate remedial measures to restore his rights which are contained in the constitution and the applicable rules and regulations.”
He said that a vicious reign of terror has been unleashed upon all those citizens who have any association with the PTI, as police have been given carte blanch powers to destroy homes and properties with impunity and grossly mistreat women, children, and the old people alike, adding that deep gashes have been engraved upon the psyche of the nation.
Qureshi said that nothing was safe from their illegal and unconstitutional assaults, as over 10,000 workers of the party were incarcerated, and constitutional court orders were being disdainfully defied to the disadvantage of the incessantly suffering people of Pakistan.
“It is now time to administer the healing process. You have been entrusted with the solemn task of guiding the country to the elections which are scheduled within the constitutionally mandated period of ninety days,” he maintained.
Qureshi stated that as members of PTI, and as concerned citizens of the country, they were writing to him to emphasise the cardinal importance of upholding the constitution, in letter and spirit, which was the bedrock of our democracy and guarantees the rights and freedoms of every citizen which, unfortunately, have been badly tampered with in the recent past.
“The timely holding of elections is crucial to maintaining public trust, upholding democratic values, and ensuring a smooth transition of power,” he added.
“We, therefore, call upon you to ensure the holding of elections on time, but no later than the constitutionally mandated period of ninety days after the dissolution of the national assembly. It must also be ensured that these elections are free, fair, and transparent that reflect the genuine will of the people of Pakistan,” Qureshi stated.
PTI Vice Chairman stated that the issue of fresh delimitation of constituencies raised by the ECP after the belated approval of census results by the Council of Common Interests (CCI) cannot be taken as a pretext to delay the elections as the timeline contained in the constitution is clear and cannot be stretched beyond the stated period of ninety days.
He said that at the time of the said meeting, Chief Ministers of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had already failed to hold general elections in their respective province within the constitutionally stipulated period, adding, “Appropriately, we also intend to challenge the said decision of the CCI in the relevant court of law.”
Qureshi urged Kakar to take steps to create an environment that would be conducive to fostering political openness, encouraging freedom of expression, and guaranteeing safety and security for all political parties and their candidates.
“It is vital to provide a level playing field to all contestants so that the consequent elections carry a stamp of credibility failing which divisive currents could be unleashed that would damage the ethos and fabric of the state,” he added.
“Your fair conduct at this juncture would inspire confidence in the democratic process and values which would be a beacon of light for our future generations, as also for improving the dismal lot of the country and its people,” Qureshi maintained.
He hoped: “We are confident that, under your leadership, the country will transit through this difficult period and emerge with renewed commitment to democracy and its enshrining principles. You can be assured of our unstinted support in discharging this noble duty which you have been entrusted with.”