SC maintains hands-off approach to political talks on simultaneous elections


ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Thursday has released a written verdict regarding the holding of general elections on the scheduled date. The court clarified that any dialogue between political parties should be their own effort and that the court has not given any direction or order in this regard. The court also stated that its earlier order in the case Const. P.5 of 2023, issued on April 4, 2023, remains unchanged.

The judgement, authored by Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial, says “today the learned Attorney General for Pakistan has apprised the Court about the communication between the Government coalition and the Opposition during the Eid holidays regarding the matter of general elections.

He has further added that initial steps have been taken for the nomination of the members of the negotiating team from both sides and matters relating to their meeting. On Court’s query as to why the Chairman Senate has been involved, Mr. Farooq H.Naek, Sr. ASC, learned counsel for Pakistan Peoples Party Parliamentarians, has submitted that the venue of the Senate was chosen for the reason that it is the House of Parliament where the Provinces have equal representation and all political parties are present therein.

The role of the Chairman Senate will only be of a facilitator without substantive involvement.”

The verdict further reads that “Mr. Shah Mahmood Qureshi, member Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (“PTI”), has informed that Chairman PTI has nominated him, Senator Ali Zafar and Mr. Fawad Chaudhary as the members of their team. The learned Attorney General and Mr. Farooq H. Naek, Sr. ASC have assured the Court that the Government wants to commence negotiations as soon as possible and are willing to sit together with the PTI team either today or by tomorrow.

The learned Attorney General has also stated that the Government coalition will finalise the names of their nominated members by today.”

The written verdict says “the Court appreciates the efforts of all parties to try to end the current political impasse and in particular their voluntary agreement to enter into negotiations to choose a single date for holding General Elections to the National Assembly and the four Provincial Assemblies.

It was made clear by the Court that the talks and negotiations between the two sides were entirely to be their own effort, without any direction or order of the Court in this regard in any manner.

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