ISLAMABAD: Days after a resolution seeking to delay election in the country was passed by the upper house of parliament, another similar resolution was submitted to the Senate on Friday. The resolution moved by independent Senator Hidayat Ullah called for postponing February 8 general elections in view of the “security challenges”. It said the upper house “call upon the Election Commission of Pakistan and the Supreme Court” to consider holding peaceful elections and postpone the polls for three months in view of the “security challenges”. The resolution also expressed concerns over “rising incidents” of targeting of the candidates contesting the upcoming elections. The development comes a day after the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) sought a Senate session to ensure timely general elections in the country It was learnt that PTI Senator Ali Zafar took signatures from other members on a requisition demanding a discussion on the issue of general elections. Besides, PPP and Jamaat-e-Islami senators have also supported the move. The requisition contends that Pakistan cannot afford political uncertainty; therefore, to strengthen the democratic process and under Article 224 (2) of the Constitution, the general elections should have been held within 90 days. To the surprise and disbelief of many, on January 5, the Senate unanimously passed a resolution to postpone the February 8 general elections in the country. Majority of the lawmakers present in the legislature had approved the resolution — seeking polls delay in the light of extreme weather in hilly areas and the deteriorating security situation — moved by independent lawmaker Senator Dilawar Khan. During the passage of the resolution, only 14 senators were present in the 100-strong Senate. Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Senator Afnanullah Khan and caretaker Information Minister Murtaza Solangi had opposed the resolution while PPP’s Senator Bahramand Khan Tangi and PTI’s Senator Gurdeep Singh remained silent. However, no one raised the quorum of the House during the moving and passage process of the resolution in the Senate. Speaking in the Senate, mover Dilawar Khan had said that there was a severe winter season in some parts of the country. He said that there are security threats to the leaders of some political parties and intelligence agencies have issued a security alert of attacks on rallies. Senator Dilawar said the issue of COVID-19 is also there, so the elections on February 8 should be postponed.


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