Pakistan: Elections 2024; IHC raises question over caretaker govt’s neutrality


ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Friday questioned the caretaker government’s neutrality as Pakistan moves towards crucial general elections scheduled for February next year.

IHC’s Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb reprimanded the interim government, calling it out for running a “terrible system” in the country.

“A terrible state of affairs is prevailing under the caretaker setup that even consultation for elections is not allowed,” the judge remarked, raising doubts over the government’s intentions in conducting the upcoming polls slated for February 8.

“Does the caretaker government want to derail the elections?” he asked.

The judge’s query came during the hearing of a plea filed by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Barrister Gauhar Khan and other lawyers, seeking to meet the party’s founder Imran Khan in jail.

The lawyers argued that the legal team wanted to consult Khan over the decision to distribute 700 party tickets, as polls approach.

Taking notice of the plea, the judge permitted permission to meet Khan for consultations ahead of the polls next year, subsequently disposing of the petition.

The court, in its order, mentioned that the PTI founder should be allowed to meet the party’s chairman under the supervision of Adiala jail superintendent.

“Allowing consultation for elections is a fundamental right,” the court maintained, adding that the party possesses the right to consult the founder over tickets.

He also asked the caretaker government to remain neutral in the elections.

The court added that the opposition to the PTI founder and chairman’s consultation raises questions over the neutrality of government.

The additional attorney general and Adiala jail superintendent also appeared in court during the hearing of the plea.

Both the attorney general and advocate general objected to the plea, inviting the court’s ire.

“Was the additional note from the Supreme Court not enough for you? After the Supreme Court, do you want me to write a note against you?” Justice Aurangzeb asked, slamming both the government representatives.

The judge stated that the attorney general and advocate general’s office represent the caretaker government and should be impartial.__The News