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Elections may be postponed if SC takes up Qadri’s verdict

Aitzaz Ahsen

Pakistan, Elections 2013 News – Renowned lawyer and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan on Friday said general elections may be postponed if the Supreme Court decides to admit the petition filed by Tehrik-i-Minhajul Quran (TMQ) chief Tahirul Qadri.

Qadri had filed a petition in the apex court on Thursday seeking immediate reconstitution of the Election Commission of Pakistan and appointment of a new chief election commissioner. He had prayed that pending a decision the court should restrain the ECP from working.

Speaking to media representatives outside the apex court, Ahsan said it was not possible to constitutionally remove any member of the election commission in its present form or to constitute the commission anew.

The lawyer added that Qadri had begun moving in another direction and was no longer abiding by the agreement he had reached with the government.

Qadri had reached the agreement with the government in January after holding a sit-in in Islamabad which lasted four days.

The sit-in’s agenda was to obtain assurances for a clean-up of the system, consultation with the army and judiciary and dissolution of the assemblies and the election commission.

However, the TMQ chief went back with a vague date for assemblies’ dissolution and a promise that he would be consulted again by the government and that he would suggest two names for a caretaker prime minister.

Qadri, who played a role in backing a military coup in 1999, had returned to Pakistan from Canada over a month ago to lead a call for electoral reforms to bar “corrupt politicians” from office.

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