‘Implement SC orders for election in Punjab, KPK,' President writes letter to PM
President Dr. Arif Alvi has also brought into the attention of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif that fundamental and human rights have been violated, and pointed out fall of Pakistan’s ranking in the World Press Freedom Index.
Islamabad: President Dr. Arif alvi asked Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to direct the federal and the provincial governments to ensure assistance to Election Commission of Pakistan in conducting Punjab and Khyber Pakthunkhwa elections in the light of the Supreme Court’s orders.
The President asked him to do so that they could avoid further complications.
He made this request in a letter to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif after the ECP decided to postpone general elections in Punjab from April 30 to October 8 due to security reasons. The decision of the ECP turned out to be surprising for many, especially for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) which termed it against the law and constitution and said that it was clear violation of the Supreme Court orders.
صدر مملکت ڈاکٹر عارف علوی کا وزیراعظم پاکستان میاں محمد شہباز شریف کے نام خط— The President of Pakistan (@PresOfPakistan) March 24, 2023
The President also mentioned the elections in the provinces as well as use of disproportionate force by authorities concerned against the politicians, political workers and journalists.
He said that the prime minister being head of the government was responsible for protecting fundamental and human rights.
The President said that all the relevant authorities in the federal and the provincial governments should stay away from abuse of human rights and asked them to provide assistance to the ECP in holding general elections in Punjab and KP within the time frame under the law.
The Supreme Court on March 1 had decided that the Punjab and KPK elections should be held within 90 days as per the law, and gave permission to the ECP to propose a poll date that deviaes from he 90-day deadline by the barest minimum in case of any difficult in this regard.
Alvi also said that the executive authorities and government departments committed a clear violation of the Constitution despite that they are bound under Article 220 of the Constitution.
He further mentioned that ECP did not implement its earlier announcement of April 30 and had openly violated the orders of the apex court. He cited Article 46 of the Constitution which says the prime minister will keep the president informed on all policy matters and legislative proposals by the federal government.
The president also mentioned that it was a matter of concern that no meaningful consultation with the president on policy issues was undertaken by the prime minister in line with the above article.
Besides it, President Alvi also brought PM Shehbaz’s attention to recent events where “glaring violations of fundamental and human rights” were committed, asking him to take remedial measures and preventive actions.
“Your attention is drawn towards the seriousness of these incidents of human rights violations, atrocities of police/law enforcement agencies and grossly disproportionate use of force against the citizens of Pakistan. Multiple fake and frivolous cases have been registered against politicians, workers, journalists and media persons. Houses of political workers have been raided and citizens abducted without warrants and lawful justification.
“The incidents of human rights violations and oppression by state machinery against innocent citizens are in clear breach and violations of fundamental rights guaranteed by Article 4 of the Constitution, that provides for, and guarantees citizens to enjoy the protection of law and to be treated in accordance with the law,” the letter said.
Moreover, the president said Pakistan had dropped 12 points down in the World Press Freedom Index 2022 to 157 out of 180 countries, saying that it reflected the country’s “sorry state of affairs”. He said that “this year’s actions and images thereof will further exacerbate our already dismal ranking.”
“In recent months, media has been further suppressed and journalists have also been subjected to charges of sedition and terrorism to stifle dissent and criticism against the government. It appears that a reign of terror has been unleashed against the media persons who have independent opinions,” the president said.
It said that numerous constitutional provisions on fundamental rights were being “clearly transgressed”.
“This has tarnished the image of Pakistan in the international community and is casting negative repercussions on the future of democracy and state of human rights in Pakistan,” he added.
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