In a surprising turn of events, the Senate’s adoption of a resolution proposing a delay in the upcoming general elections has been met with strong opposition from key political players, including the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), and Jamat-e-Islami (JI). The non-binding resolution, which cites extreme weather conditions and a deteriorating security situation, has been labeled as “unconstitutional” by these political parties.
PPP Senator Sherry Rehman expressed the party’s firm stance against the postponement of elections, emphasizing that they do not support the Senate resolution. Senator Shahadat Awan, highlighting the absence of the resolution in the day’s agenda, labeled it a “rebellion against the Constitution” and a pre-planned conspiracy. He stressed that the PPP remains fully prepared for timely elections and accused those fearing defeat of attempting to delay the polls.
Sher Afzal Marwat, a central leader of PTI, denounced the resolution, asserting that the Constitution was violated in the Senate. He contended that the call for a delay is an attack on the Constitution and suggested that Article 6 might apply to those who voted in favor of the resolution.
JI Emir Sirajul Haq condemned the Senate’s approval of the resolution, describing it as a conspiracy against the country and democracy. Haq emphasized that delaying elections due to unrest in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan would be akin to surrendering to those causing unrest. He underscored the importance of timely elections for ensuring peace and stability in the country.
The resolution, introduced by independent lawmaker Senator Dilawar Khan, received approval in the presence of only 14 senators out of 100. PTI Senator Gurdeep Singh and PPP Senator Behramand Tangi abstained from voting. Following the vote, the Senate chairman adjourned the session indefinitely.
With the constitutional limits of several assemblies already surpassed, concerns about potential delays prompted a petition in the Supreme Court. In response, the apex court directed the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and President Arif Alvi to announce a date, leading to the scheduled elections on February 8. While recognizing security and weather challenges, political figures emphasize the importance of addressing issues instead of postponing the electoral process.