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HRCP urges ECP to end uncertainty by issuing election schedule

LAHORE, SEP 04 (DNA) — The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has voiced profound concerns regarding the uncertainty surrounding the upcoming general elections, demanding these elections adhere as closely as possible to the 90-day period stipulated in the Constitution.

In a statement issued on Monday, the HRCP governing council insisted that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) should promptly announce the schedule for general elections.

The HRCP maintained that the delimitation of constituencies must be completed quickly as well as efficiently and under no circumstances used as an excuse to delay the elections any further.

Moreover, the HRCP expressed its worries over the scope for manipulating the electoral process through institutions including the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) and urged the commission to guard against this possibility.

The HRCP said it was greatly alarmed by the increasingly polarized environment in which religious and sectarian divisions were being exacerbated reportedly to carve out artificial political space for far-right parties including the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP). 

“The divisive and violent tactics used by such parties to build their political identities — particularly at the expense of religious minorities and sects– are eating into organic political and civic spaces,” the statement read.

“The continuing terrorist violence in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has also made political parties more apprehensive about campaigning in the province — a pattern we have witnessed before and must not go through again,” it added.

The HRCP observed that apart from ensuring that elections were held in a free, fair and credible manner, the “test” of the current caretaker government was to see that it would not only protect and respect the people’s right to protest peacefully, but also if it would respond to the issues that ordinary citizens were mobilizing around. — DNA

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