• Meeting is said to have been held on the fourth floor of Aiwan-e-Sadr.
  • No statement issued by the President House regarding reported huddle.
  • Meeting seen important as president’s term ending on Sept 8.


 

ISLAMABAD: Amid uncertainty surrounding the general elections, the recent reported meeting at the President House has triggered speculations with some claiming President Alvi could announce polls date in a few days.

The meeting is said to have been held on the fourth floor of Aiwan-e-Sadr (Presidency), where the president’s office is situated. During the meeting, the fourth floor of the Aiwan-e-Sadr was off-limits to anyone — the staff also restricted from entering the area, Daily Relation Times reported on Sunday.

What happened when ‘three elders’ are said to have met? In this regard, no statement has been issued by the President House. However, in the backdrop of the country’s current situation, there have been a lot of speculations on social media.

According to some speculations, the president could announce the general election date in the next 72 hours. The president had written a letter to the chief election commissioner for a meeting to set the date for upcoming elections. However, the CEC had refused a meeting, saying that under Article 57 of the Election Act 2017, the commission had the authority to set the election date. The Ministry of Law also had the same response to the president’s request for advice.

There were speculations that the president could announce the date of elections under Article 58 of the constitution, and Friday’s meeting was important in that context.

Another aspect of the meeting could be the amendments to the Army Act and the Official Secrets Act regarding which the president had tweeted that he had not signed and ratified the bills, which had later become law.

A third aspect is the completion of the term of the president, which will end on Sept 8. There has been no confirmation from the President House that he will go home after completing his term as president. However, according to the Constitution, the president can stay on in office until the arrival of a new president.

Meanwhile, a schedule of the president’s activities issued for the next week shows that President Arif Alvi will be going to Lahore on a four-day visit starting today (Sunday), and will return on Sept 7.

Observers say that as far as the general election date is concerned, the election commission could also announce the date next week. If separate dates are announced — one by the president and one by the ECP — the conflict will be decided by the Supreme Court of Pakistan to help clear the ambiguity. It may be noted here that the Supreme Court is currently hearing appeals of the Pakistan Bar Council, Supreme Court Bar, Jamaat-e-Islami, PTI and others regarding the holding of elections in 90 days.

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