Supreme Court Bar Association President Calls for Treason Charges Against Chief Election Commissioner Over Election Delays
In a strongly-worded speech, Abid Zuberi, the President of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA), called for the application of Article 6 of the Constitution, which pertains to treason, against Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja. Zuberi accused the CEC of violating the Supreme Court’s order and the Constitution by failing to hold elections within 90 days after the dissolution of an assembly.
On March 1, the Supreme Court, in a split verdict, directed that elections for the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Punjab assemblies should be conducted within 90 days. Following this ruling, President Arif Alvi announced April 30 as the date for the Punjab polls after consulting with the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).
However, the ECP later postponed the elections in Punjab until October 8, citing security concerns as the primary reason for the change in plans. In April, the Supreme Court declared the ECP’s decision on the Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa elections null and void, ordering snap polls as demanded by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan after the dissolution of the assemblies in both provinces.
Addressing the Lawyers Convention organized by the SCBA, Zuberi criticized the ECP for failing to implement the Supreme Court’s order, accusing the commission of violating both the court’s order and the Constitution. He also announced that the SCBA would challenge recent amendments to the Official Secrets Act and the Pakistan Army Act in the Supreme Court.
Veteran lawyer Aitzaz Ahsan also criticized the CEC, calling him a “facilitator” and a “violator of the Constitution” for not holding general elections on time. Ahsan emphasized the need for timely elections and criticized the fresh delimitation process as a delay tactic.
Sardar Latif Khosa, in reference to the current political situation in Pakistan, expressed concerns about the rule of law and the Constitution. He criticized the authorities over an elevator incident in which he and 16 others were trapped in a malfunctioning elevator at the Islamabad High Court.
The All-Pakistan Lawyers Convention demanded that the next general elections be held within 90 days in the country. The convention emphasized the importance of civilian supremacy, adherence to the constitution, the rule of law, and the independence and integrity of constitutional institutions as fundamental pillars of democracy in Pakistan.