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Pakistan’s Defence Ministry moves SC to seek ‘simultaneous elections’ in country

Islamabad [Pakistan], April 19 (ANI): Pakistan’s Defence Ministry has moved the Supreme Court (SC) to seek ‘simultaneous elections’ in the country, Pakistan-based ARY News reported.

As per details, the defence ministry which is responsible for allocating armed forces for the elections has filed an application in Supreme Court seeking ‘simultaneous elections’ in the country.

The defence ministry has asked the Pakistan Supreme Court to recall its April 4 order to hold Punjab elections on May 8, and issue a directive that the general elections for the National and provincial assemblies should take place at the same time, after the completion of their terms.

According to ARY News, the ministry’s view was in line with the federal government’s stance, which has opposed holding separate general elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP).

Meanwhile, the Pakistan National Assembly on Monday rejected a motion seeking a supplementary sum of Rs 21 billion for elections in Punjab, Dawn reported.

The Pakistan Supreme Court last week directed the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) to “allocate and release” Rs 21 bn by April 17 for elections in two provinces from the Federal Consolidated Fund (FCF) “lying under its control and management”.

The apex court had also instructed the central bank to send an “appropriate communication” to this effect to the finance ministry in this regard, Dawn said.

A meeting of the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Finance and Revenue was called earlier on Monday to discuss the SC order regarding the disbursement of funds.

The matter was then raised in a session of the NA held after the cabinet meeting. During the session, Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar said that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), in exercise of its power, had delayed polls in Punjab till October citing the lack of finances and the security situation, Dawn reported.

“In such economic circumstances if elections are held again and again for the sake of one man’s ego, it is not in the country’s interest,” he said, according to Dawn.

He went on to say that the federal government, in light of SC’s directives, had presented a bill in the lower house of parliament for treating the funds required as a “charged expenditure”. “But this House after thorough deliberations, rejected the bill,” Tarar further said.

He noted that the SBP was directed by the SC to transfer Rs 21 bn to the ECP from the FCF but added that under the Constitution only the lower house of Parliament could give the approval for doing so. (ANI)

This report is auto-generated from ANI news service. ThePrint holds no responsibility for its content.

Source: The Print

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