Aftab Momand

The matter of the election date for the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly is getting complicated with each passing day; Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) sending a legal notice to the Governor of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Haji Ghulam ALi for ‘not announcing the election date’ in the province, is the latest situation.

On the other hand, the Election Commission has also invited Governor KP to Islamabad to consult, yet again, the election date in the province on March 14.

The legal notice, sent by PTI leader and former provincial minister Taimur Saleem Jhagra, states that Governor Haji Ghulam Ali is delaying the announcement of the election date despite the orders of the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

The governor of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa should immediately implement the decision of the Supreme Court, or else, the governor will be guilty of Article 6 if the court order is not implemented, warned the legal notice.

According to the constitution, new elections must be held within 90 days after the dissolution of the assembly.

The Supreme Court of Pakistan had ordered elections to be held within 90 days in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, but Governor Haji Ghulam Ali has not yet set a date for the elections.

Yesterday, Governor Haji Ghulam Ali and Election Commission officials held an important meeting regarding the date of general elections in the province.

After the consultation, a statement was issued by the Governor’s House, stating that the two-hour-long consultative meeting was held in a pleasant atmosphere. The consultation regarding the date for the general elections is in the final stages.

The Governor also briefed the Election Commission team about Law & order and the overall situation in the province.

Earlier, the Secretary Election Commission briefed the Governor on various correspondence after the dissolution of the Provincial Assembly, and in the light of the court orders, a detailed consultation was held with the Governor on fixing a date.

According to the statement, next week Governor Haji Ghulam Ali will have a meeting at Election Commission Islamabad for final consultation.

The inside story of the Election Commission and Governor’s meeting

On the other hand, the inside story of the meeting between the Governor of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the Election Commission’s officials also surfaced. The Election Commission failed to get the date of elections in the province from the Governor, and the officials returned disappointed.

Governor Haji Ghulam Ali raised the point during the meeting, yesterday, that due to the bad law and order situation in the province, it will be difficult for political parties to campaign for the elections.

The Election Commission staff also will face difficulties in performing their duties on polling day, so it is necessary to communicate with the relevant institutions regarding the elections, the Governor insisted.

Haji Ghulam Ali has already said that it is not possible to hold general elections in the province immediately due to several reasons.

Many officials of the central government, including Federal Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah, have also said that it is difficult to hold elections in two provinces at this time due to unfavorable conditions.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, however, approached the Peshawar High Court to hold general elections in the province as per the constitution after the dissolution of the Provincial Assembly.

All central and provincial leaders of the party, including Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Imran Khan, are increasingly pressurizing the federal government and the governor of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to announce general elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa immediately. For that, PTI leaders are also reaching out to the masses.

Since the Punjab Assembly, itself, was dissolved, President Dr. Arif Alvi has fixed April 30 as the date for the provincial assembly elections there. On the other hand, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly was dissolved by Governor Haji Ghulam Ali, so the date of provincial assembly elections here will also be announced by the governor instead of the president.

On January 17 this year, former Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mehmood Khan, under Article 112(1) of the Constitution, sent a summary of the dissolution of the assembly to the Governor, which was signed by Governor Haji Ghulam Ali on January 18. Later, the provincial assembly was dissolved.