ISLAMABAD: Former interior minister Rana Sanaullah has claimed that the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) is resisting the newly proposed delimitations based on the 2023 census due to concerns over potential seat losses, particularly in light of the anticipated increase in Karachi’s constituency count.
Sanaullah’s comments were made during a recent appearance on a Private TV Channel Program. He emphasized that a postponement of the general elections beyond the stipulated 90 days would hold no substantial impact.
Citing the Council of Common Interests (CCI), which included PPP representatives, Sanaullah highlighted that the new census had been collectively approved.
On August 17, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) announced a delay in elections for three months, attributing it to the necessity of fresh delimitations following the notification of the 2023 census, a decision previously agreed upon by the CCI.
Sanaullah emphasized the nation’s consensus on the census and stressed that constitutional obligations warranted the new delimitations. He noted the previous dissent over the 2017 census, which had led to a one-time adjustment for timely elections.
He underlined the unconstitutionality of conducting elections based on the “tainted 2017 census,” justifying a delay of 80 to 90 days for legitimate delimitations.
In contrast, PPP Vice President Senator Sherry Rehman urged the ECP to adhere to Article 224 of the Constitution and promptly announce the general election date. Rehman contended that while the Constitution mandates elections within 90 days of the National Assembly’s dissolution, no such obligation exists for delimitation.
Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani, contrasting with the PML-N’s stance, reminded political parties, including the PPP, of their awareness regarding the fresh delimitations following their approval of the census results within the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) coalition.
Sanjrani, addressing the media earlier, indicated that parties opposing the fresh delimitation process should have refrained from approving the census results via the CCI.
Rana Sanaullah further asserted that there were no baseless cases against leaders of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), contending that legal procedures were duly followed. He clarified that Azam Swati appeared in court fifteen minutes after his arrest, while Shahbaz Gill’s court appearance occurred a day after arrest, both in accordance with the law.
Sanaullah also asserted the legitimacy of registering first information reports (FIRs), stating that all were warranted. He suggested that those receiving bail in one case but not another should face arrest.
Regarding Shehryar Afridi, Sanaullah noted that the Islamabad High Court granted him parole, asserting that the Ministry of Interior lacked authority to release an accused on parole.