Back-channel talks underway to dissolve assemblies same day
13 March, 2013
ISLAMABAD: The Upper House on Tuesday was informed that the government is engaged in the backdoor diplomacy with provincial governments and Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to dissolve all the assemblies simultaneously to pave way for holding elections across the country on same day.
This was stated by leader of the house in Senate Jahangir Bader while responding to a point of order raised by Senator Mohsin Laghari. The senator pointed out that there is a state of confusion and constitutional deadlock pertaining to the dissolution of all the provincial assemblies simultaneously due to their formation in different dates. He also pointed out that the federal government had enforced governor rule in Balochistan some two months back, but as per law, it was neither validated it through a joint sitting of the Parliament within 60 days nor revoked it.
"There is complete deadlock pertaining to the Balochistan Assembly as the governor rule completed its 60 days today (March 12) without legalizing by the joint sitting of the parliament", said senator Leghari. He further went on saying that the provincial assemblies have been formed on different dates and Balochistan Assembly has made on April 7 and it could not be dissolved without the consent of the provincial chief minister before this date.
Leader of the House Jehangir Bader said the backdoor negotiations are underway with the provincial chief ministers and ECP to dissolve them on same day so that it could be easy for forming care taker governments." Hopefully, there will not be any deadlock on the dissolution of all the assemblies on one day to pave way for forming caretaker governments", said Jehangir Bader. However, about the constitutional deadlock on the Balochistan Assembly, he said, he will inform the house on Wednesday after consulting with the concerned authorities.
Earlier, Senator Mohsin Laghari also pointed out that the government could not hold Local Government elections during last five years, saying that the democracy seems to be incomplete without the local bodies representatives." The failure of the governance in the country is also due to absence of the local government system", said Leghari.
Leader of the House responded that after the 18th Constitutional Amendment, the local government system is the provincial subject and all the provinces are free to make legislation and hold elections in their respective province.
Moreover, PPP Senator Saeed Ghani through a adjournment motion drew the attention of the house towards what he said issuing of derogatory statement by the members of the election commission of Pakistan against parliamentarians, which he felt a breach of privilege. He said that the ECP had previously stated any amendment in the nomination papers could not be made without approval from the President, but all of a sudden it has changed its mind and issued statement that it has unlimited powers to amend the nomination papers without approval of president under article 218.