The Pakistani Senate passed a resolution calling for the postponement of the general elections scheduled for February 8, citing significant security concerns.
The resolution, introduced by Senator Dilawar Khan, garnered majority support among lawmakers, although it faced opposition from Information Minister Murtaza Solangi and PML-N Senator Afnan Ullah.
The resolution emphasized the constitutional guarantee of every Pakistani citizen’s right to vote, stressing the necessity for the Election Commission of Pakistan to conduct elections that are not only free and fair but also inclusive, ensuring participation from all regions. It highlighted the high voter turnout in colder areas during more moderate weather, pointing out the challenges of conducting elections in the coldest months, especially in regions like Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Further concerns raised included the safety of political leaders, following recent attempts on the lives of prominent figures such as JUI-F chief Fazlur Rehman and former lawmaker Mohsin Dawar. The Ministry of Interior has reported serious threats to politicians’ lives, exacerbating the challenges for political parties in conducting a free and fair election.
The resolution noted a recent increase in attacks on security forces and citizens, particularly in KP and Balochistan. It argued that proceeding with elections without addressing these legitimate concerns, ensuring sufficient opportunities for election campaigning, and guaranteeing the safety of politicians and citizens would violate fundamental rights.
The Senate thus demanded the postponement of the election schedule to facilitate effective participation from people across Pakistan, representing all political perspectives.