The heads of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and the Military Intelligence (MI) have briefed the Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) regarding the challenges faced by the military establishment in reference to the provision of security for the May 14 elections in Punjab province, according to sources.
The sources said that the closed door meeting which also included two other apex court judges, lasted for over three hours. It was held at the CJP's chamber.
On April 4, a three-member bench comprising the CJP and the two judges had declared the decision of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to postpone the Punjab elections as unconstitutional and ordered it to hold the polls by May 14.
During the meeting, the three judges were apprised about the serious security challenges in terms of terrorism and ongoing attacks targeting security officials are keeping the troops engaged.
The briefing is also believed to have highlighted about the serious security challenges that would be confronted if elections in Punjab province were held on May 14, as per the apex court's order.
The important closed door briefing holds massive importance as election for the Punjab Assembly have been one of the top demands of former premier Imran Khan and his party members, who had dissolved both Punjab and the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's provincial assemblies in order to force early general election in the country.
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However, the ruling government countered the move by instating a caretaker government setup with a mandate of holding elections in their respective provinces within 90 days.
But since the caretaker setup has taken over, Khan has said that the government has not intention to hold provincial elections within 90 days, adding that the government wants to extend the tenure of the caretaker setup, which is unconstitutional.
On the other hand, the government maintains that it has multiple issues in relation to holding elections within 90 days in the two provinces.
The government states that the country's drained financial situation doesn't allow it to allocate funds to ECP to conduct elections.
It also maintains that as the current population census is underway, the elections would be held after its completion, as new constituencies would be formed as per the new census date.
Moreover, the government also maintains that provision of security for the provincial elections in Punjab is also not possible as the troops are engaged in security of the census teams, adding that the current surge of terrorism in the country also, does not deem the situation fit to have public gatherings, including voting.
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