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Friday, September 29, 2023  
12 Rabi ul Awal 1445  

SC stresses need for dialogue to address political issues

Hopes political parties to heal polarisation in polity
In this file photo, residents ride on bike past election campaign signs along a road in Lahore, Pakistan. Reuters
In this file photo, residents ride on bike past election campaign signs along a road in Lahore, Pakistan. Reuters

Political issues can be best addressed through dialogue consensus, said the Supreme Court in its order on petitions pertaining to holding elections in a single day.

“We, therefore, expect the political parties in the country to heal the polarisation in the polity and to arrive at a single date for holding general elections to all the constitutional assemblies,” said the order issued on Monday.

The order mentioned that PTI leader Shah Mahmood Qureshi had lamented the “lack of progress” made during the negotiations and “despaired” any useful purpose being served by continuing talks with the government.

Moreover, Railways and Aviation Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique from the government side stated that the negotiations were productive and an agreement was reached on the elections to the National Assembly and four provincial assemblies on the same date. “He further submitted that if the negotiations are allowed to continue, then consensus may also develop on a specific date for holding the general elections,” it said.

A Supreme Court bench on April 4 quashed the country’s top electoral authority’s decision to extend the date for polls in Punjab from April 10 to Oct 8 and had fixed May 14 as the new date.

It had also directed the federal government to release Rs21 billion for elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and to provide a security plan to the ECP regarding the polls.

Later, the ECP in its reports had said the ruling coalition was reluctant in releasing the funds. It had argued that staggering polls by holding them in Punjab and KP separately, before elsewhere, was not feasible since it would incur more expenses compared to holding the exercise on one day.

The deadlock over the holding of elections in two provinces arose after the PTI dissolved its governments in Punjab and KP in January.

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