General elections: PHC moved for securing level-playing field for PTI
PESHAWAR: A writ petition was filed in the Peshawar High Court (PHC) here on Thursday for ensuring transparent general election and level-playing field for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) to carry out the poll campaign like other political parties.
Moazzam Butt, a senior advocate, filed the petition in which federal and provincial governments, Home Ministry, chief election commissioner and Peshawar Press Club president and other relevant institutions were made respondents.
The petitioner contended that the election date has been announced according to which the country would go for general elections on February 8, next year.He said all the political parties were making preparations for the polls but the PTI was allegedly being kept out of the election campaign by creating hurdles for the party through different means. The petitioner claimed that the caretaker KP government was performing functions against the Constitution.
“A caretaker government cannot function beyond 90 day-time. “But the KP Governor Ghulam Ali overstepped his authority after the death of the caretaker chief minister Muhammad Azam Khan and appointed Arshad Hussain Shah as the caretaker CM after consulting former CM Mahmood Khan and opposition leader Akram Khan Durrani,” the petitioner said while elaborating on his point.
Moazzam Butt said that law-enforcement and spy agencies should not influence the electoral process as their duties and functions had been clearly defined in the Constitution.
The petitioner alleged that the CEC was influencing the electoral process as well. He requested the court to play a role by appointing all the returning officers (ROs) as there would be problems if these duties were assigned to officials from other institutions in the light of the ECP directives.
He suggested that the Supreme Court of Pakistan should make the electoral process transparent by appointing the ROs from the judiciary. “The Article 218 of the Constitution says that the CEC will appoint the ROs after consulting the SC chief justice,” he explained.
The petitioner alleged that the PTI leadership was being implicated in fake cases. He cited the cases instituted against former speaker of the National Assembly, Asad Qaiser on corruption charges and other party leaders.
He alleged that the caretaker government was planning to rig the general elections to back a particular political party.
Published in The News, November 17, 2023