President Arif Alvi, in a letter to the interim Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar, expressed the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party’s concerns about the potential erosion of fundamental rights and equitable conditions for all political parties in the lead-up to the general elections set for February 8, 2024.
The letter from the President’s office comes as political activity intensifies following the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and President Alvi’s agreement on the election date, leading to heightened preparations among major political parties.
The PTI has voiced allegations of being hindered in its political activities, citing the incarceration of several of its leaders following the violence in the country on May 9. The party has emphasized the need for free, fair, and transparent conduct in the upcoming polls, advocating for a level playing field for all political parties.
In response, PM Kakar stated that politicians loyal to PTI Chairman Imran Khan, who is jailed in connection with the cipher case and convicted in the Toshakhana case, would be permitted to participate in the forthcoming elections.
President Alvi conveyed PTI’s concerns in a letter, stressing the importance of the caretaker government’s role in ensuring impartiality and equal opportunities for all parties.
The letter included concerns shared by PTI General Secretary Omar Ayub Khan, highlighting issues like enforced disappearances, forced conversions of political loyalties, media crackdowns, and mistreatment of female political activists. President Alvi underscored constitutional rights, including freedom of association and speech, and urged PM Kakar to address these issues.
The political landscape is also characterized by increasing rivalry between the PML-N and the PPP. The PPP has expressed willingness to form an electoral alliance with the PTI, a significant shift from its previous coalition with the PML-N, which had united to remove Imran Khan from power. This evolving political scenario indicates a dynamic and contentious lead-up to the upcoming general elections.