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    Institutional support for simultaneous election to guarantee political, economic stability: Experts

    Institutional support for simultaneous election to guarantee political, economic stability: Experts

    PESHAWAR(APP): Political and legal experts here Sunday said that all state institutions derive powers from the constitution and its strong support for holding of free and transparent simultaneous election would help guarantee political and economic stability in the country.

    ‘The powers of all state institutions including legislature, executive, judiciary and election commission were clearly defined in the 1973 constitution and any deviation from it would create political anarchy, destabilise the economy and aggravate the people’s problems,” said Esa Khan, former Advocate General, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa while talking to APP.

    “The main function of parliament was to do legislation while judiciary interpret the constitution. The executive powers rest with the Prime Minister to run the country while the authority of holding free and transparent election was the mandate of Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP),” he told APP.

    He said article 218(3) and other articles of the constitution empower the ECP to hold free, fair and transparent election, and that all state institutions including the government and judiciary would provide support to it for the smooth conduct of polls.

    He said if all these institutions work under its constitutional domain and national harmony, the country’s would continue to move forward on road to democratic path and development, otherwise the entire system would crumble,” he said.

    He said there was no legal or constitutional harm if the case of KP and Punjab  assemblies’ election was heard by the full court in order to clear all the existing controversies devoloped after the dissenting note by the two honourable judges of the SC.

    Esa Khan said the recent SC Procedure Bill 2023 adopted by the parliament was significant as it has granted right of appeal to all litigants affected from the judgments decided under Article 184 (3).

    He said the Parliament had given a clear opinion about the article 184(3) through it’s new legislation, adding Parliament was a supreme institution and its opinion should be respected by all.

    He said the general election in all provinces and centre on same day would help bring political stability and save huge economic resources besides ensuring credibility to the polls.

    Esa said free and transparent elections not only reinforce the stability and legitimacy of the political governments but link citizens with each other and thereby confirm the viability of the polity besides facilitating social and political integration.

    He said the primal principle of democracy was the worth and dignity of the individual besides respect to people mandates rather dragging state institutions into politics, provoking people and giving rhetoric statements.

    He said if the political parties did not shun their differences and initiate a dialogue, the country would continue to be embroiled in political and economic instability despite holding of early election in KP and Punjab.

    Ikhtiar Wali Khan, PMLN spokesman also advocated for holding of simultaneous election in the country to take the ship of democracy forward and prevent whopping taxpayers money from waste.

    He said unfortunately an administrative issue was turned into a political and constitutional crisis and ignoring of economic, security, constitutional, legal and political affairs would be an akin to neglecting interests of the state.

    He said the PTI has disolved the KP and Punjab assemblies on the whims of its leader, who was bent upon to destabilise democracy and pitch state institutions against each others for his personal political gains after loosing footing in both the provinces.

    He claimed that the conspiracy to create an unending political, economic and constitutional crisis under the pressure of a party, which was attacking the state institutions and police besides levelling baseless allegations against national leadership, would be thwarted with the power of people.

    He said that a bench headed by a senior most judge of the Supreme Court Justice Qazi Faez Isa ordered the suspension of hearing of all cases under article 184(3) of the constitution, adding the contradictory court decisions had created a complex situation for the coalition government to implement the decisions.

    The new legislation of the SC Procedure Bill 2023 passed by the National Assembly and Senate had put a stop to the path of one-sided justice to the people and gave them the right to appeal, which was according to natural justice and the basic intent of the constitution, he added. 

    Wajid Ali, former Provincial Minister and ANP leader said Pakistan has hardly been recovered from the whopping $40 billion economic losses of the last year floods and can’t afford seperate elections in provinces in the wake the country’s fragile economy.

    “ECP has demanded Rs20 billion only for Punjab and KP assemblies’ polls and additional Rs20 billion would  be required for holding elections in Sindh and Balochistan later this year. Can the country afford it?

    PTI, from August 2018 to December 2021, had taken about $43.4 billion loans including a bilateral loan of $3.22 billion besides $14.5 billion through the commercial banks on high interest rate, thus pushing the nation and coalition governments in the hot waters, he said.

    Hamza Khan, PMLN Nowshera President said that early elections in KP and Punjab assemblies seemed to be a futile exercise with more chances of confrontation and chaos besides rigging allegations by the political leaders including PTI as witnessed after 2013 general elections.

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