Islamabad [Pakistan], September 22 (ANI): Pakistan’s former Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah confessed that Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) had supported an extension for former army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa in order to overthrow the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief and former Prime Minister Imran Khan, ARY News reported on Friday.
“Voting for Gen Bajwa’s extension [in 2020] was a tactical move by the party to fight the fitna (mischief),” former interior minister Rana Sanaullah said during an appearance on a TV channel in Pakistan.
According to the ARY News, the former minister had called the former Pakistan army Generals Bajwa and Faiz Hameed as “National criminals” and demanded action against them.
In 2020, parliament unanimously passed amendments to the Army Act that cemented the extension, with the PML-N being among the parties that voted for it.
Meanwhile, The Election Commission of Pakistan on Thursday announced that the elections will take place next year in January, according to Dawn.
Notably, the elections will be held in the last week of January, according to the poll body.
The ECP stated in a statement that it had examined the apportionment of seats, Dawn reported.
The preliminary list of constituencies will be published on September 27, 2023, according to the decision made by the ECP on Thursday after reviewing the delimitation process’s development.
The final list of constituencies will be released on November 30 after complaints and comments regarding the preliminary lists have been heard, according to several media reports in Pakistan.
The election will then be scheduled for a 54-day period, with voting taking place in the final week of January 2024.
Earlier, in August, Pakistan President Arif Alvi invited Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja for a meeting to “fix an appropriate date” for general elections.
In his letter to the Chief Election Commissioner, Alvi referred to Article 244 of the Constitution and said that he was duty-bound to get the elections conducted within the prescribed 90-day period after Pakistan’s National Assembly was dissolved prematurely.
However, a recent amendment to the Elections Act 2017 allowed the ECP to announce the dates for elections unilaterally without having to consult the president.
After the dissolution of the National Assembly of Pakistan in August, Senator Anwar-ul-Haq Kakar was picked as the caretaker Prime Minister of the country.
Commenting on the upcoming general elections, PM Kakar earlier said that he hopes that the ECP would thoroughly look into the matter of holding free and fair polls as per the Constitution.
Meanwhile expressing his views on the prerogative to announce the election date, the interim prime minister put his weight behind the ECP. “The president has announced the polls date, whereas it is in fact the ECP’s prerogative”. (ANI)
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