ISLAMABAD: Amid controversy over the Supreme Court ruling that declared the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) order to postpone elections in Punjab as “unconstitutional”, the electoral body on Wednesday announced the holding of polls on May 14 as directed by the top court.
The ECP took the decision in an emergency meeting held today for consultations on the SC verdict. Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja chaired the session.
After SC ruling, ECP announces polls in Punjab on May 14
SC orders polling in Punjab on May 14
The Supreme Court on Tuesday voided the ECP’s decision on Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) elections. A three-member SC bench comprising Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Munib Akhtar and Justice Ijaz Ul Ahsan announced the decision in open court and declared the ECP’s decision to hold polls on October 8 as “unconstitutional”.
The apex court directed the ECP to reinstate its previous election schedule under which polls were to be held and extended it by 13 days.
The Supreme Court also clarified that the ECP could not go beyond the 90-day stipulated time and stated that 13 days were wasted because of the ECP’s unlawful decision.
The court also directed the caretaker government in Punjab to assist the ECP and instructed the commission to inform it if the government refused to do so.
The Constitution and laws of the election commission did not allow an extension of the date, it added.
According to the decision, candidates would be able to submit nomination papers from April 10, the electoral body would publish the list of candidates on April 19, and electoral symbols would be issued by April 20.
The court also directed the government to release Rs21 billion for elections in Punjab by April 10 and told the ECP to submit a report on the matter in court the same day. In the case of non-provision of funds, the court will issue an appropriate order, it added.
PM calls SC ruling ‘murder of justice’
In his reaction, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif equated the judicial murder of former prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto with the verdict of the apex court and said that it was ironic that the ex-premier was judicially murdered on April 4 and once again on the same day justice was “murdered”.
Speaking in the National Assembly, the prime minister said the cabinet meeting had demanded that the reference over the judicial murder of the late premier pending for the last 12 years should be taken up and decided by the full court.
“The world knows that ZAB’s case was a judicial murder as one of the former judges who had decided the case, had accepted it in his memoirs,” he said.
Praising ZAB, PM Shehbaz said he was among the founders of the 1973 Constitution and his historic contribution would always be remembered.
“The events that took place in the past 72 hours are tantamount to the murder of justice.”
ISLAMABAD: Ambassador of Qatar to Pakistan Sheikh Saoud bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani held a meeting with Chairman Senate, Sadiq Sanjrani at the Parliament House in Islamabad on Wednesday. The meeting was aimed at discussing the strengthening of bilateral relations between Qatar and Pakistan, and exploring new avenues for cooperation in various fields of mutual interest.
The Qatari Ambassador delivered a letter of appreciation to Chairman Senate, expressing gratitude on behalf of Hassan bin Abdulla AI-Ghanim, Speaker of the Shura Council of the State of Qatar, for the Senate’s unanimous resolution congratulating Qatar and its leadership on its historic achievement of hosting the FIFA World Cup 2022, the largest and most renowned global sporting event ever hosted by a Muslim country.
During the meeting, Ambassador Al-Thani conveyed Qatar’s keenness to further enhance collaboration with Pakistan in the areas of trade, investment, energy, and culture. He emphasized the importance of expanding people-to-people contacts and deepening cooperation in the education and tourism sectors. Chairman Senate, acknowledged the significant role played by Qatar in promoting peace and stability in the region.
He expressed Pakistan’s readiness to strengthen its relations with Qatar and assured the ambassador of his full support in promoting bilateral cooperation in all fields. The meeting was held in a friendly and cordial atmosphere, reflecting the strong ties between Qatar and Pakistan. Both sides expressed their commitment to further deepen and diversify their bilateral relations in the years ahead
LONDON: Russia told the United States on Monday that the last remaining pillar of bilateral nuclear arms control could expire in 2026 without a replacement due to what it said were US efforts to inflict “strategic defeat” on Moscow in Ukraine.
Both Russia and the United States still have vast arsenals of nuclear weapons which are currently partially limited by the 2011 New START Treaty, which in 2021 was extended until 2026.
What comes after Feb 4, 2026, however, is unclear, though Washington has indicated it wants to reach a follow-on agreement with Russia.
Asked if Moscow could envisage there being no nuclear arms control treaty after 2026, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told the RIA state new agency: “This is quite a possible scenario.”
Ryabkov, Russia’s top arms control diplomat, said the United States had in recent years ignored Russia’s interests and dismantled most of the architecture of arms control.
The two countries, which account for 90pc of the world’s nuclear warheads, called off talks on the START treaty last year
“New START may well fall victim to this,” Ryabkov told RIA. “We are ready for such a scenario.”
His remarks constitute a warning to Washington that its continued military support for Ukraine could scupper the final major post-Cold War bilateral arms control treaty with Russia.
The United States has supplied more than $27 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since Russia invaded the country on Feb 24, including over 1,600 Stinger anti-aircraft rocket systems, 8,500 Javelin anti-tank missile systems and over one million 155mm artillery rounds.
Indian Army Brigadier Sudhir Sawant says,’This is not an accident but a conspiracy.’ He also said that a detailed inquiry of the case should be done.
Simple logic and Public opinion.
A few days before Russian meets Indian diplomats to disclose information very importantly.
Could have been the reason of this accident!
Obviously, someone inside must have been paid. This is the Chief Defence Staff, not a common Person.
Who had overseen strikes in Myanmar and the surgical strikes across the Line of Control, had been known to call out Pakistan and China several times over border disputes and the spread of terror.
Here are his top quotes
* “Territorial ambitions of China and Pakistan require India’s armed forces to remain alert and deployed along disputed borders and also along the coastal regions around the year,”
General Rawat said last month while delivering the Sardar Patel Memorial Lecture at All India Radio.
* “China’s partnership with Pakistan and its stand on Jammu and Kashmir can be best described as an anti-India nexus,” he said during a press conference held in Guwahati, Assam.
* “China has a habit of using money power and economics to gain popularity in the countries. We have to move with the Prime Minister’s SAGAR mission (Security and Growth for all in the Region),” the four-star general said in October.
* “Let them (Pakistan) attempt to do something to damage our assets, and the reaction from our armed forces will be very different. The political will is there. Our armed forces are ready,” General Rawat told India Today TV.
The protestations of a general, who cannot protect himself on his plane are in question. The Army, Navy, and Air Force failed to secure their own Chief of Defense Staff. To the best of my knowledge, any aircraft is allowed to fly after checking all the technical systems.
If it is said that the weather was bad, then today’s weather updates are given a year ago. Who gave permission to the helicopter in which General Rawat was to fly? Can anyone tell who invited General Rawat to the area where his plane crashed?
Along with the entire family, the government resources which were given to him by the Modi government even after his retirement, who will benefit from his demise?
He could not fulfill his responsibility when he was chief. Be it Pakistan’s front or China’s … nothing but lying and staying away from facts. The Indian Air Force pilot fell into the hands of the Pakistan Air Force and they kept telling him that we want peace and returned the failed pilot who is being portrayed as a hero today.
However, it seems to me that the incumbent general was forcibly removed from office.
Today, at least eight people have been arrested, two booked and one suspended from a government job, across the country, over social media posts on the death of General Bipin Rawat, his wife, and other officers in a helicopter crash in Tamil Nadu. Action over the posts has been reported from Jammu and Kashmir, BJP-run Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Karnataka, Congress-run Rajasthan, and from Tamil Nadu that has a DMK government.
The most arrests have taken place in Rajasthan — one in the hours following the crash and two on Saturday. The Pratapgarh police arrested Manish Kumar Meena, 28, and Jeevanlal Ninama, 25, on Saturday for allegedly posting “offensive” material on the crash. Pratapgarh SP Amrita Duhan said Meena had put up posts on Facebook. A police statement said the remarks by the two had “hurt public sentiments”.
A witness to the Indian Air Force (IAF) chopper crash, in which CDS General Bipin Rawat and 12 others died on Wednesday, said the people on board the helicopter were screaming for help after it crashed into the forest in Tamil Nadu’s Coonoor.
So the question is, is the Chief of Defense Staff on a flight?
And the connection to the air control tower was so weak that help could not arrive on time.
When a plane crashes, it communicates with the control tower. Initial crash information is obtained from the control tower.
So why don’t Indian Air Force or Indian government investigators reveal what the pilot said about the flight when he was in contact with the control tower.
Explain, why the control tower does not reveal information, Just to say that the weather was bad. So, when the weather is bad, the helicopter can land anywhere, so the pilot said bad weather situation, but why did not land at emergency? There are many questions which, if answered, will solve the case. When will the Black Box Communication come out? Nothing can be said about it. Anyway, Modi has taken a bath with Ganga,This sin must have been washed away.
Being an experienced and mature senior-most army officer, CDS rawat could have canceled his helicopter journey and saved 13 officers country lost young officers because of his negligence.
Agreed CDS Rawat was successful in handling difficult matters related to the army and our country but failed in taking the decision whether to travel in foggy weather or not. And this is the fact. Feeling sad for the departed souls and their family. . Instead of the helicopter, he could have made a road trip. Why waste government money on a small distance??? Great loss 14 for family members.
One needs to understand the 3 defense forces (army, navy & air force) were independent before Modi made Rawat as head of all a new position. This did not go well. Rest is history!!
Meanwhile Indian public said:
Whenever there is an election, someone has to die.
The Afghan Taliban have distanced themselves from the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) after the latter recently claimed it was a “branch” of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) — the regime in charge in Kabul.
TTP chief Mufti Noor Wali Mahsud, in a video available on social media and purportedly shot during his visit to Pakistan’s northern areas, had declared that his outfit came under the larger “umbrella” of the IEA.
“Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan is a branch of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, [and] is a part of that umbrella on this land,” Mahsud, flanked by armed TTP fighters, can be seen saying in the video as he addressed a group of men.
Afghan Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid, in an interview with Arab News on Friday, rejected Mahsud’s claim of affiliation with the IEA.
“They are not, as an organisation, part of IEA and we don’t share the same objectives,” Mujahid is quoted as saying by the publication.
“We advise TTP to focus on peace and stability in their country. This is very important so they can prevent any chance for enemies to interfere in the region and in Pakistan. And we request Pakistan to look into their demands for the better of the region and Pakistan.”
Mujahid said the TTP was Pakistan’s internal matter, adding: “The IEA stance is that we do not interfere in other countries’ affairs. We do not interfere in Pakistan’s affairs.”
Ceasefire — beginning and end
The Afghan Taliban spokesperson’s remarks come roughly a month after Afghanistan’s acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi acknowledged that the Afghan Taliban were mediating between Pakistan and the TTP on the desire of both the parties.
The Afghan Taliban’s facilitation of talks had led to a month-long ceasefire during November, which the TTP declined to extend any further, accusing the government of failing to honour the decisions reached earlier.
A statement issued by the TTP on Thursday gave out details of the six-point agreement that it said it had reached with the government under the aegis of the “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan” (IEA) on Oct 25, 2021.
The two sides, according to the agreement, had accepted that the IEA would play the role of a mediator and that both sides would form five-member committees each which, under the supervision of the mediator, would discuss the next course of action and demands of each sides.
Both sides, it said, had also agreed to observe a month-long ceasefire from Nov 1 to Nov 30, 2021 and that the government would release 102 “imprisoned mujahideen” and hand them over to the TTP through the “IEA and that both sides would issue a joint statement regarding the ceasefire on Nov 1, 2021”.
According to the statement, the government not only failed to implement the decisions reached between the two sides but on the contrary, the security forces conducted raids in Dera Ismail Khan, Lakki Marwat, Swat, Bajaur, Swabi and North Waziristan and killed and detained militants.
“Under these circumstances, it is not possible to extend the ceasefire,” the TTP said.
The TTP decision to end the ceasefire is a big setback to the government’s efforts to secure a peace agreement with the militants waging war against the state for decades.