PESHAWAR: The opposition Awami National Party has welcomed the Supreme Court’s decision to reject the government’s petition for openvote in the Senate election and declared it a historical verdict, which, it said, will strengthen democracy in the country.

In a statement issued here on Monday, ANP central president Asfandyar Wali Khan alleged that the government had attempted to dishonour parliament by promulgating ordinance for secret vote.

He said the government needed to take the opposition parties into confidence for the purpose but it had failed to do it and instead, it adopted a dictatorial attitude.

Mr Asfandyar said the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf had issued the Senate tickets to billionaires but the election results would be a surprise for rulers.

He said by promulgating a presidential ordinance, the government had taken an undemocratic initiative but the credit for foiling the attempt went to the opposition’s Pakistan Democratic Movement.

“The ordinance was nothing but just a bad intention on part of the government,” he said.

The ANP leader appreciated the Election Commission of Pakistan on insisting that open balloting would be possible only after the Constitution was amended by parliament. He said the Supreme Court’s decision would strengthen the rule of law and supremacy of parliament in the country.

Mr Asfandyar said the government’s plea for open vote in the Senate elections was an ample proof that the ruling PTI was unsure about the loyalty of its elected members.

Published in Dawn, March 2nd, 2021

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