- Bilawal says the PPP’s demand for a level playing field comes from PML-N.
- Add a level playing field at the center and the provinces should be the same.
- He says the nation should have the right to elect its representatives.
Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari has said that his concerns regarding level playing field especially relate to one political party in particular, which is the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML- N).
As the time of the general election approached, the gap between the former allies grew and the PPP persistently expressed concerns about the lack of equal opportunities to prove themselves before the polls.
“The demand for level playing field comes from the PML-N,” the former foreign minister said while speaking to the media in Lahore on Tuesday.
Bilawal maintained that the principles for acquiring development funds and completing projects are clear.
It cannot be that Sindh does not have permission to utilize the development budget, he added.
The Bhutto family scion said development plans are underway in Punjab and the Centre, but the trend towards use of development funds should be consistent everywhere. “The equality of conditions in the Center and in all the provinces must be the same for the development (of the works).”
Bilawal went on to say that everyone realized his party’s argument on a level playing field. “It would have been better if the issue of level playing field was taken up by the parties (that were part of) the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM).”
Talking about the controversy surrounding the election date, Bilawal said that only the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has the authority to announce a date.
He asked the electoral regulatory body to immediately announce the electoral calendar.
Moving on to the return of PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif, Bilawal said the PPP has always demanded that the former prime minister return.
“The PPP will welcome the announcement of the date for Nawaz Sharif’s return,” he said, adding that he hopes the three-time Prime Minister will face the cases as the PPP is willing to do so.
He said the cases related to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) are old and have been going on for a while, so “they will not affect the elections in any way”.
Furthermore, the former Foreign Minister further said that the High Court of Parliament (Practice and Procedure) Act 2023 case is a really important case.
Expressing his opinion on the current economic situation of the country, the PPP chairman said that the main problem of the people of Pakistan is inflation, which has reached a record level.
He said no one cares who does what, they just need a roadmap.
“Our priority should be how to provide relief to a common man in this time of high inflation,” Bilawal said, adding that the country needs a people-friendly government.
The nation should have the right to elect its representatives, he said.
Delimitations, controversy around the elections
The PML-N-led PDM government dissolved the National Assembly on August 9, while the Sindh and Balochistan assemblies were also dissolved prematurely to allow the electoral authority to hold elections in the country within 90 days instead. of 60 days if the legislature completed its constitutional mandate. .
If the election is to be held within the 90-day limit, the election must be held on November 9, 2023.
However, before dissolving the assemblies, the coalition government in a meeting of the Council of Common Interest (CCI) had unanimously approved the VII Population and Housing Census 2023.
Following the ICC’s approval, on August 17 the ECP announced the schedule of new delimitations that exceeded the constitutional limit of 90 days on November 9, all but ensuring that the elections are likely to be held after the 90-day mark. .
According to the schedule announced by the ECP:
- September 8 to October 7 — Delimitation of the constituencies to be held throughout the country.
- October 10 to November 8 — Constituency proposals will be presented.
- September 5 to September 7: A quota of national and provincial assembly constituencies will be allocated.
- August 21: Electoral committees of four provinces will be established.
- August 31: Administrative matters related to electoral districts will be completed.
- November 10 to December 9: ECP to decide on objections to constituencies.
- December 14 — Final publication of the delimitation.