The Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Marriyum Aurangzeb, has dismissed reports suggesting that the coalition government’s partners have withdrawn their nomination papers for the Punjab elections. Speculations had been rife in the federal capital after the Supreme Court ordered the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to hold elections in Punjab. Some sources had claimed that the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F), and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) had decided not to contest the polls in the province. However, the information minister refuted these reports, stating that they were fabricated and mere speculations.
Marriyum Aurangzeb stressed that the party leadership had not made any decision to withdraw nomination papers, and that the coalition government and its partners were determined to give a tough fight to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan, whom she referred to as a “foreign agent, trouble-maker, Constitution-violator, and watch thief.” She added that all parties in the coalition government wanted elections across the country to be held on the same day.
Earlier this week, a three-member bench of the Supreme Court had ruled unanimously that the ECP’s decision to delay the election in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was unconstitutional. The bench led by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial, along with Justice Munib Akhtar and Justice Ijaz Ul Ahsan, ordered the electoral body to hold the election in Punjab on May 14. The ECP had initially postponed the election, which was scheduled to take place on April 30, citing a resurgence of terror attacks, a shortage of security personnel, and an unprecedented economic crisis.
While the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) had welcomed the court’s decision, the federal cabinet had rejected it, and Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar said that the legal team was outlining the future course of action. However, the ruling alliance parties had remained committed to the election and have rubbished reports suggesting that they were considering withdrawing their nomination papers.
Marriyum Aurangzeb urged the media to verify such news from the spokespersons of the parties before publishing them. She emphasized that there was no truth in the reports of the government’s alliance partners withdrawing nomination papers and that they were determined to contest the election against Imran Khan in a befitting manner.