LAHORE: Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, the Chairman of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), addressed concerns about potential delays in the forthcoming general elections in Pakistan asserting on Saturday that the elections will proceed as planned on February 8, even if attempts are made to pass resolutions through international bodies like the United Nations (UN) or the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
This statement was made during a press conference in Lahore where Bilawal addressed queries regarding the Senate’s endorsement of a resolution to postpone the elections.
Emphasizing that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has already set a schedule for the polls on February 8, Bilawal affirmed that the elections will take place on the stipulated date regardless of attempts to pass resolutions from the Senate, the UN, or the OIC.
A resolution had been put forward by an independent lawmaker in the Senate to delay the polls due to extreme weather conditions and security concerns. This resolution gained the support of 14 senators in the legislature on Friday. However, another resolution was subsequently presented in the upper house advocating for the elections to proceed on February 8 as originally planned.
In a resolution submitted to the Senate Secretariat by Jamaat-e-Islami’s (JI) Senator Mushtaq Ahmad Khan, the constitutional obligation of conducting elections was highlighted.
Simultaneously, efforts were made to bring contempt charges against senators involved in pushing for a delay in the polls before the Supreme Court.
Marriyum Aurangzeb, the Information Secretary of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), echoed Bilawal’s stance, affirming that the elections will indeed occur as scheduled. She stressed the PML-N’s opposition to the resolution and asserted that the polls will take place on February 8 despite objections from other parties.
Dismissing the possibility of any postponement, Bilawal referenced Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Qazi Faez Isa’s assertion that the election date is inflexible.
Expressing confidence in the elections proceeding as planned, Bilawal indicated that the Pakistani people will have the opportunity to exercise their voting rights and determine their preferred government. He reiterated the PPP’s readiness to accept the decision of the populace and underscored the party’s aspirations to address the nation’s issues if given the chance.
Regarding concerns about a fair electoral environment, Bilawal acknowledged the challenges the PPP has historically faced during elections. However, he shifted the focus to the party’s 10-point agenda, considering it their primary manifesto for the upcoming polls, rather than dwelling on grievances about an uneven playing field.