ISLAMABAD: The PTI submitted a report to the Supreme Court on Wednesday seeking the implementation of its last month’s order to hold elections in Punjab on May 14, after the party and the coalition government failed to develop consensus on a date for simultaneous polls across the country despite agreeing that they could be held on the same day.

In the four-page report, submitted a day after the two sides concluded the make-or-break round of the much-awaited negotiations on polls, the PTI told the top court that “in spite of the best efforts of parties, no solution within the Constitution” was found.

Therefore, the apex court’s April 4 decision to hold elections in the Punjab Assembly on May 14 should be implemented “in letter and spirit”, said the report, signed by PTI leaders Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Fawad Chaudhry and Senator Syed Ali Zafar.

The talks between the PTI and the government began last week on Supreme Court’s advice. Three rounds were held, on April 27, April 28, and May 2.

Last month, the Supreme Court asked political parties to sit together for the sake of the Constitution and arrive at a consensus date for holding simultaneous elections for the National and provincial assemblies in the country.

In its report, the PTI furnished complete details of the deliberations stating that the party extended a proposal to the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) alliance, suggesting that it was ready to accept simultaneous elections to the National and provincial assemblies with certain conditions.

One condition was that the National Assembly and the provincial assemblies of Sindh and Balochistan should be dissolved on or before May 14, so that countrywide polls could be held within 60 days, i.e. in the second week of July 2023.

Besides, in order to give a constitutional cover to holding elections to the Punjab and KP assemblies beyond the period of 90 days, MNAs belonging to PTI would rejoin the National Assembly and a one-time constitutional amendment validating the delay in elections beyond the period of 90 days for Punjab and KP assemblies shall be carried out by mutual consent of the political parties, the PTI had proposed.

Besides, all the parties shall agree that the election results would be accepted as a whole subject to individual grievances in accordance with the law. And an agreement in writing to the above effect shall be submitted before the Supreme Court to ensure that the implementation of the agreement was complied with by the parties in letter and spirit.

The PTI report said the government rejected these proposals and instead proposed that the National Assembly and the Sindh and Balochistan assemblies could be dissolved on July 30, after which elections across the country would be held in 90 days, in the first week of October.

The report said the members of both the teams of PTI and PDM deliberated and held a dialogue “with full sincerity” for three days — on April 27, 28 and May 2 — and that parties arrived at a certain consensus, such as the dialogue between political parties was important and the solution to all political questions ultimately lay with the political parties.

Moreover, both teams would endeavour to hold this dialogue with full sincerity and try to arrive at a solution that was in the best interest of the people and Pakistan and in accordance with law and the Constitution, it said.

Besides, the two sides agreed that dialogue would not be used as a delaying tactic and was without prejudice to and had no bearing on the April 4 judgement of the Supreme Court for holding elections to the Punjab Assembly until and unless an agreement within the confines of the Constitution was arrived at between the parties and such agreement was implemented.

Published in Dawn, May 4th, 2023

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