In both Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab, the governors have yet to provide the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) with the dates for holding the elections. In the wake of the bombing that resulted in over 100 casualties in a mosque in Peshawar, the governors have urged the ECP to take into account the country’s security situation.
As part of a letter to the Chief Election Commission (CEC) Sikander Sultan Raja, the governor of K-P, Haji Ghulam Ali, stressed the importance of taking into account the opinions of law enforcement agencies and political parties prior to holding the elections. In light of the current alarming situation in the province, he advised the ECP to consult with the agencies.
Balighur Rehman, the Punjab governor, also advised the ECP not to hold the elections in the near future, citing the country’s law and order problems and financial difficulties. All stakeholders must be engaged before election dates are announced, according to him.
ECP had previously sent governors letters proposing dates for the elections in the two provinces, but neither governor has provided a date. According to the federal minister for information technology and telecommunication, Syed Aminul Haque, the digital census will continue until March, after which the ECP will require four months to delimit the population. Therefore, it is unlikely that the country will hold general elections before October 2023.
Farrukh Habib, the leader of the PTI, criticized the coalition government for the high rate of inflation and the recent increase in the price of petroleum products. Under the current regime, inflation has increased from 12% under the PTI government to 27%.
As the prices of essential food items have skyrocketed, he accused the government of cruelty to the people and of “snatching food.” Foreign investment also declined by 180% and remittances by 11%. On the request of the International Monetary Fund, the government may again increase electricity tariffs.
The ECP has been unable to provide dates for the polls in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab due to security and financial concerns raised by the governors. According to the federal minister of information technology and telecommunications, general elections are unlikely to take place before October 2023. Farrukh Habib, the leader of the PTI, has criticized the government for the high inflation rate and the recent increase in petroleum product prices.