SC Could Review May 14 Election Date, Reveals Azaz Syed

SC Could Review May 14 Election Date, Reveals Azaz Syed
Elections in Punjab – scheduled for May 14 – can be postponed to a later date, after a meeting of the top intelligence officials with Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial.

"I have come to know through well-placed sources that there is ample chance that CJ Bandial may review the May 14 date for the elections," investigative journalist Azaz Syed said in a podcast, on Tuesday.

If he doesn't, he added, that government may file a petition for a review, and the date may then move to Oct 8, the initially proposed date for the polls.

On Monday, the Director General of the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), Lt General Nadeem Anjum, paid a ‘courtesy call’ on CJ Bandial at the Supreme Court.

The ISI chief was accompanied by Director General Military Intelligence (DGMI) Maj General Wajid Aziz, and Secretary Defence Lt Gen (rtd) Hamood-uz-Zaman Khan.

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The meeting also included Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan and Justice Munib Akhtar, according to sources who say that the purpose was to relay the view of the establishment on Punjab elections ordered by the SC.

In the meeting, the directors-general of ISI and MI reportedly presented a detailed assessment of the security threats facing the country in general, and to the elections process in particular. Sources claim the judges were briefed on the ongoing and future deployment of military personnel because of which they “would not be available” for election security duties.

Analysts purport that the 2-3 hours long meeting was held to inform the superior judiciary that the current miltablishment feels elections in the Punjab on May 14 are not feasible. Moreover, if the CJP is intent on elections, then the establishment would want both federal and provincial elections be held simultaneously.

The visit of the country’s top spymaster, who runs the vaunted but feared ISI agency, to the apex court comes at the heels of a formal visit by army chief Gen Asim Munir to the National Assembly, where he addressed an in-camera session of the Parliamentary Committee on National Security.