President Arif Alvi of Pakistan has raised concerns over the legality of caretaker governments in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa that have exceeded their constitutional limit of 90 days. The President forwarded a letter from PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, requesting that he address the issues raised in the letter. Mr Chaudhry had asked the President to send a reference to the Supreme Court to ensure timely elections in Punjab and KP. He alleged that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and the federal government were violating the Constitution in this regard.
The PTI dissolved the assemblies in Punjab and KP in January following an announcement by party chairman Imran Khan at a public rally in November last year. Caretaker governments were then formed in both provinces to ensure free and fair elections, but the stipulated time of 90 days has almost passed due to “unlawful and unconstitutional” steps by the PDM coalition government, according to Mr Chaudhry’s letter. The PTI filed a petition before the Lahore High Court earlier this month challenging an ECP notification giving “blanket” powers to the caretaker government of Punjab to make transfers and postings. Mr Chaudhry also urged the Chief Justice of Pakistan to send the caretaker governments packing and appoint administrators in both provinces for elections.
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The Presidency tweeted that the President Alvi had requested the Prime Minister to address the issues raised by the former federal minister to uphold the Constitution and strengthen democracy. The President’s concerns highlight the importance of following constitutional provisions and upholding democratic values in Pakistan.