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SC expresses anger as 90-day time for elections in Punjab, KP running out

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SC expresses anger as 90-day time for elections in Punjab, KP running out

The Supreme Court has remarked it is unable to understand what is being done by the Election Commission of Pakistan to hold elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhunkhwas as the 90-day time period is running out.

In January, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) dissolved the two provincial assemblies and the ECP, as per the Election Act 2017 and Constitution, is supposed to hold elections within 90 days of the dissolution. But uncertainty continues to hang on elections as the ECP and governors of the provinces are not announcing a date for elections. Several cases are being heard by the Lahore High Court (LHC), the Peshawar High Court (PHC) and the top court against the ECP for not announcing a schedule for elections in the provinces.

During the hearing of a case regarding transfer of Lahore CCPO Ghulam Mahmood Dogar, Justice Munib Akhtar said the sole responsibility of the ECP was to hold elections but it was seeking more time to perform its duty. 

At one point, the Islamabad High Court Bar Association pleaded the top court to issue an order on its petition seeking intervention for the electoral schedule. However, Justice Ijazul Ahsan rejected the request, saying a two-member bench had already sent the matter to Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial. He added that it was the prerogative of the chief justice to form a bench to hear the case.

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A day earlier, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja had told the top court that he was being prevented from exercising his powers and fulfilling constitutional requirements for holding transparent elections. He also explained the impediments to holding elections when Justice Ijazul Ahsan remarked that elections, as per the Constitution, should be held within 90 days of the dissolution of the assemblies.

Read More: LHC moved to seek order for president to announce Punjab election date

Justice Ahsan remarked it was a violation of the Constitution if elections were not held in 90 days, adding that the ECP was responsible for holding transparent elections.

The chief election commissioner lamented that the army had excused itself from providing security while judiciary was not ready to provide returning officers (ROs). “When funds were sought for elections, we were declined,” he said. Mr Raja also highlighted that it would be a violation of the Constitution if election date was announced by the ECP chief.

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Anchorperson Imran Riaz released after court dismisses charges against him

Anchorperson Imran Riaz released after court dismisses charges against him

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Anchorperson Imran Riaz released after court dismisses charges against him

 YouTuber and anchorperson Imran Riaz has been released following a court order that discharged him from charges of interference in official duties.

Imran Riaz’s lawyer, Mian Ali Ashfaq, confirmed the news on his official X (formerly Twitter) account.

Media reports indicate that on May 29, Chief Justice of Islamabad High Court, Justice Aamer Farooq, allowed Imran Riaz to perform Hajj. However, despite the court’s permission, he was barred from travelling to Saudi Arabia for Hajj on June 3 and had to return home, stating his intent to seek court intervention again.

On June 12, the Islamabad High Court once more permitted Imran Riaz to proceed with Hajj. Yet, on the same day, he was arrested at Lahore Airport, clad in ihram, just as he was about to depart.

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A case under Section 406 for breach of trust was filed against him, but the Model Town Court in Lahore dismissed these charges on June 13. Nonetheless, he was rearrested in connection with another case.

This time, Imran Riaz was accused in a case registered at Sarwar Road Police Station in Lahore for allegedly interfering with official duties by forcibly driving his vehicle through an airport checkpoint, damaging a barrier.

However, on June 14, the Cantt Court in Lahore discharged Imran Riaz from the interference charges, leading to his release as per the court’s order.

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Health insurance for 5,000 journalists on cards: Tarar

Health insurance for 5,000 journalists on cards: Tarar

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Health insurance for 5,000 journalists on cards: Tarar

Federal Information Minister Atta Tarar announced that health insurance for 5,000 journalists will be ensured in the first phase.

While addressing the media at the press club, Tarar stated that the government is committed to the welfare of journalists. He underlined the need to work together to serve the country. He also asserted the government’s belief in freedom of expression while stopping misinformation.

Also read: PPP standing with journalists over defamation law: Hassan Murtaza

Tarar highlighted that everyone must play a part in ending fake. He mentioned that a long meeting with journalists will be held soon saying that his doors are always open for them.

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Furthermore, Atta Tarar said that the government will ensure a minimum wage of Rs 37,000

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Political parties must prioritise country’s progress: President Zardari

Political parties must prioritise country’s progress: President Zardari

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Political parties must prioritise country's progress: President Zardari

 President Asif Ali Zardari has emphasised that political parties must prioritise the country’s progress and prosperity by fulfilling their democratic and constitutional responsibility.

He was talking to Interior Minister Mohsin Naqvi, who called on him in Islamabad on Friday.

The president said we must only think about Pakistan and put aside personal differences.

He stressed the need to take Pakistan forward and everyone has to play his role in this regard.

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Speaking on the occasion, the Interior Minister said any challenge can be tackled through the power of unity and solidarity.

Besides, matters of mutual interest and country’s overall situation were discussed in the meeting.

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