NA Likely to Pass Resolution Denying Funds for Punjab Elections Today

Thu Apr 06 2023
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ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly is likely to pass a resolution today to ‘tie’ the hands of the federal government and deny funds for the elections to the Punjab Assembly, suggest the recent statements made by the ruling party leaders.

Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah stated that anything about the allocation of funds to the Election Commission of Pakistan for holding elections in Punjab would be premature until Parliament takes a decision in this regard. He said this while talking to a private Tv channel on Wednesday after the Supreme Court ordered to hold elections in Punjab on May 14, which is being considered as a critical turning point for Pakistan’s political landscape.

A three-member Supreme Court bench unanimously ordered to hold the elections in Punjab while declaring the ECP order to delay the election in Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa “unconstitutional”. The bench led by Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial and comprising Justice Munib Akhtar and Justice Ijaz Ul Ahsan also ordered the electoral body to hold the elections in Punjab on May 14.

“NA decision binding on the government”

Replying to a question about releasing funds to the ECP, Sanaullah stressed that any decision made by the parliament would be binding on the government following the resolution being tabled today (Thursday), which, he said, represents the entire parliament’s order. The resolution referred to by the interior minister will be tabled in the lower house of Parliament as was mentioned by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Wednesday.

The ruling alliance had voiced its disagreement with the apex court’s proceedings and the National Assembly will pass a resolution rejecting the Supreme Court verdict today. Earlier on April 4, the federal cabinet unanimously rejected the Supreme Court order.

After the apex court’s order, the ECP has notified election schedule to start the stalled polling process. In response to a question, the interior minister said that the Election Commission of Pakistan is an independent body and as such free to make a decision about holding polls but its decision is not binding on the government. He said that if the three-member bench wants to send the entire parliament home, then it should do so once and for all.

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