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HomePakistanAlvi under fire for advocating PTI’s poll concerns | The Express Tribune

Alvi under fire for advocating PTI’s poll concerns | The Express Tribune



ISLAMABAD:

The interim government and the Election Commission of Pakistan on Friday threw shade at President Dr Arif Alvi, expressing strong discontent with the latter for rallying behind the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s concerns regarding the level playing field and attempting to make the electoral process “suspicious”.

The president found himself under fire from multiple fronts after his move to relay in a letter the PTI’s concerns to the prime minister regarding alleged infringements on citizens’ rights and an erosion of a fair electoral contest.

Alvi, affiliated with the PTI and frequently accused of displaying partiality for the party, also forwarded a letter received from PTI General Secretary Omar Ayub Khan.

Berating Alvi for advocating for the party line, caretaker Information Minister Murtaza Solangi said, “The whole nation desires that the President plays his role as the symbol of the federation and not give such an impression that people would see him as the spokesperson of a party”.

Read More: ‘Minus-Imran formula’ unacceptable, ECP told

Meanwhile, the ECP sounded alarms over what it termed “an attempt to make the transparency of the upcoming election suspicious”.

“An attempt is being made by a high official to make the transparency of the upcoming election suspicious,” the ECP spokesperson stated in a statement. “This behaviour is not appropriate.”

The ECP is determined that the elections will be fair and transparent. He added that the same will be ensured, he added.

In a post on X formerly Twitter, the interim government’s spokesperson said that the statements made by the president in connection with the upcoming general election seemed to be in conflict with his constitutional role.
Solangi urged President Alvi to allow the constitutional institutions, specifically the ECP, to perform their duties without interference.

Highlighting ECP’s dedication and meticulous approach in carrying out the electoral process, the interim minister said that the date for the elections has been announced and all political parties are allowed to engage in political activities within the established parameters of the constitution and the law.

Solangi said that Alvi knows very well that the people who are demanding a level-playing field today were the ones who dug up the pitch and ran away with wickets from the field in the past.

He expressed hope that President Alvi would prioritise his role as the head of state over any partisan affiliations, allowing the democratic process to unfold transparently and fairly for all political entities.

Read More: Imran to face ECP contempt charge on 13th

It is pertinent to note that through his letter, the president had stated that it was of utmost importance that the caretaker government under the prime minister’s leadership made efforts as a neutral entity to provide a level playing field for all political parties.

“In this context,” an official statement read, “it was reassuring to hear your recent statements whereby you stated that it was the caretaker government’s policy that all registered political parties should have equal rights and opportunities to contest the forthcoming elections.”

The president further highlighted that democracy was the only viable way forward for the state and people of Pakistan, the essence of which was in giving people the right to partake in political activities and to be able to voice their opinions through free media.

He remarked that there was a resonance in Pakistan that for free, fair and credible elections, all political parties and leaders had a right to contest and it was up to the people to decide.

Through the letter, Ayub had conveyed his party’s concerns on the erosion of fundamental rights, with particular reference to enforced disappearances, forced conversions of political loyalties, absence of a level-playing field for major political parties, crackdown on media and mistreatment of female political activists through prolonged illegal detentions.

In his letter to the premier, Alvi said that the president of Pakistan represented the unity of the republic as head of state under Article 41 of the Constitution and was, therefore, duty-bound along with the prime minister and all institutions to protect the rights of the citizens, as enshrined in the constitution.

He said that it was for this very reason, that he was sending the letter containing PTI’s allegations, which had also been debated in the media, regarding the increasing cases of enforced disappearances of individuals with known political affiliation.

The president had asked PM Kakar to look into these issues. In response, the government and ECP’s spokespersons have lambasted the President for allegedly acting as a mouthpiece of a political party.





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