Pakistan Peoples Party Senator Saleem Manviwalla has said that the political uncertainty in the country does not make it seem like elections will take place on the fixed date. However, Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz’s Khurram Dastgir and Paksitan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s Ali Zafar expressed optimism that things would go ahead as planned.
Speaking in Faisla Aap Ka on Aaj News Khurram Dastgir said that the main issue that led to the delay in elections was the need for new delimitations after the results of the new census were notified. He said that with the delimitations already announced, there was no hurdle to elections being held as per schedule.
He added that countries have to move forward regardless of the situation and elections would hopefully take place February 8.
He added that the PMLN was actively preparing for the elections, its manifesto committee as well as ticket allotment committee were both working and the party had mobilised its workers as it prepared to welcome Nawaz Sharif when he landed in the country.
PPP’s Senator Saleem Mandviwalla said that Maulana Fazal ur Rehman’s apprehension’s regarding the elections seemed to be true as the atmosphere for an upcoming election were not being seen anywhere in the country.
Asked about the reasons for his viewpoint, Mandviwalla said that the political uncertainty in the country was so great that even people considering contesting elections like himself were not sure if elections would take place.
He said that the matter of elections, held or not, was a complete mockery. He said that he had never seen such uncertainty before.
The senator added that there was no preparation for the elections anywhere, and the the uncertainty was the result of this issue.
He said that even the political parties do not know if elections will take place.
However, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s Senator Ali Zafar said that the elections would certainly take place on February 8. He said that there should be no confusion left about the elections after the Supreme Court judgement on the matter.
As for the atmosphere around elections, Zafar said some people who know they are facing defeat are making excuses.
He added that if anyone was to blame for the political uncertainty, it was the Election Commission of Pakistan who should have announced the result by now.
When asked if challenges to delimitations could lead to delays in elections, Zafar said that the schedule being announced was a separate matter and the dates in schedule were a separate matter.
He said that while the schedule had to be 56 days long, there was no limit on when the announcement has to be made.
Zafar said that PTI’s intra-party elections had been conducted ‘absolutely correctly’ and that the ECP was not a court that could hear objections against an election.
Is Nawaz the new ‘ladla’?
Dastgir said that the ‘ladla’ tage was a slogan being used by other political parties to heat up their election campaigns.
He said that the word was best suited to 2018 when Nawaz Sharif was being illegally kept out of the elections to get certain results.
He added that the PMLN’s electoral symbol had been taken away in 2018 but no one had considered the party a victim.
Dastgir said that the PMLN was in need of a level playing field as it had been denied to it in the previous elections.
Mandviwalla added that while Dastgir had made important points, the word ‘ladla’ was not being used by a political party but was being used by the public.
He said that the impression had been amplified by the way Nawaz had returned to Pakistan and the cases against him had been quashed. If Nawaz had returned ‘normally’, the senator added, the word would not be used for Nawaz.