In a bold move, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) vociferously accused the interim federal government of fostering an environment of partiality and bias against them. Emphatically rejecting any possible delays in the forthcoming elections, the party leaders harbored suspicions of a conspiracy intended to marginalize them in the electoral race. The PPP leadership made it clear that they anticipate and demand fair and equitable competition, refusing to stand for any disparity in the treatment of political parties during this crucial time.
During a media briefing that followed the PPP’s Central Executive Committee (CEC) meeting in Lahore, a grave concern was expressed over the apparent creation of a deliberate state of confusion regarding the electoral timetable. This sentiment was echoed by prominent party figures including Shazia Marri and Faisal Karim Kundi. The leaders pointed to a recent communication from President Arif Alvi to the Chief Election Commissioner, Sikander Sultan Raja, suggesting the 6th of November as a potential date for the general elections, as a significant cause for their concern.
The CEC gathering witnessed participation from the party co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari and Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, who had earlier expressed diverging opinions on the matter of the election date.
Marri Voices Concerns Over Recent Developments
Marri, who led the press conference, highlighted that the recent CEC meeting was an extension of prior deliberations aimed at scrutinising the prevailing conditions in the country, encompassing economic aspects as well. She announced that a detailed policy statement would soon be disseminated to the media after the conclusion of the ongoing discussions.
The PPP leader wanted to assure the public and the media that the party remains a formidable force in all provinces, vehemently demanding a level playing field for the elections. Marri raised serious questions about the recent bureaucratic reshuffling that occurred exclusively in Sindh, while other provinces remained unaffected, hinting at an apparent attempt to undermine the party’s influence.
Allegations of Unlawful Intervention and Future Steps
The conference also became a platform for levelling allegations of favouritism by the caretaker government, with claims that there was a conscious effort to undermine the PPP’s standing. Marri reminisced about a previous consensus to conduct the elections nationwide synchronously, an agreement she asserts was breached by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader, hinting at the imprisoned former premier, Imran Khan.
Furthermore, Marri expressed reservations about the president’s role in determining the election date, questioning the constitutional grounds for such an intervention. She disclosed that a delegation from PPP is slated to engage with representatives of the Election Commission in the near future to express their grievances about the perceived absence of fair competition and to insist on holding the elections within the stipulated 90-day period.
Lastly, commenting on the demarcation process initiated post the recent official national census, Marri stated that although PPP harboured no objections to the process, it should not be manipulated as an excuse to postpone the much-anticipated elections.