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It’s Asif Zardari versus Mahmood Achakzai for presidency

Sunni Ittehad Council nominates PkMAP chief as its candidate for presidential election

By News Desk

March 2, 2024 12:08 PM


It’s Asif Zardari versus Mahmood Achakzai for presidency

File photos

The contest would not have been fought in a classic way had there not been two heavyweights pitched against each other no matter what the odds are for the august post of President of Pakistan.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and their allies had already nominated Asif Ali Zardari as their joint candidate for the presidential election scheduled to be held on March 9 (next Saturday).

But the contest heated up today after Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) nominated veteran politician from Balochistan, Pashtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) President Mahmood Khan Achakzai as their candidate for the presidential election.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) election winners had now joined the SIC.

Though the numbers are in favour of former president Asif Zardari but the mere nomination of the seasoned Baloch politician has turned the race quite interesting.

PTI founder chairman Imran Khan has endorsed Mahmood Khan Achakzai as their nominee for the coveted presidential seat.

Asif Zardari's counsel, Farooq H Naek, submitted the PPP cho-chairman’s nomination papers at the Islamabad High Court (IHC) Saturday noon. Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah was the proposer and Nasir Hussain Shah was the seconder of Asif Zardari’s candidature for presidential election. "I am also a seconder of Asif Zardari," said Farooq Naek.

Nomination papers of Mahmood Khan Achakzai were also submitted in the IHC.

Following the submission phase, the scrutiny of nomination papers is scheduled to take place on March 4, ensuring a thorough examination of each candidate's eligibility and credentials for the prestigious role of the president of Pakistan.

On March 5, candidates successfully nominated will be able to retrieve their papers, and the ECP will simultaneously release the final list of presidential contenders.

Voting for the presidential election is scheduled to take place on March 9 at the Parliament House and the four provincial assemblies.

The chief justices of the high courts will serve as the presiding officers for the presidential election. IHC Chief Justice Amer Farooq has assumed the role of presiding officer at the Parliament House in Islamabad for the upcoming election. 

It is pertinent to note that Achakzai won the National Assembly seat from NA-266 in Chaman.

On Friday, SIC leader Sher Afzal Marwat hinted at Achakzai being nominated as the party's candidate for the upcoming presidential election. Speaking in a show, Marwat had said: "There is a possibility that we can field Mahmood Khan Achakzai for the president’s slot. I have no idea whether the message had been delivered to Mahmood Khan Achakzai in this regard." 

While delivering a speech in the National Assembly after taking oath as MNA on Friday, Mahmood Achakzai not only demanded that Constitution should be respected, but also the supremacy of parliament be taken as the red line by all.

While admitting that the people have given mandate to jailed PTI leader Imran Khan, the veteran Baloch politician demanded that he should be released forthwith.

Achakzai said that everyone knows that the establishment continued to play with the Constitution, asking: “How could we defend the Constitution?”

Achakzai regretted that some people wanted to turn the house, representing the people of Pakistan, into a cattle market. Calling PPP a democratic party, recalling PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif used to raise the slogan of ‘Vote Ko Izzat Do (respect the vote) and stressing that Imran Khan had come in parliament via vote, Achakzai suggested that a resolution should be passed that “the establishment and security institutions will have no role in the politics of Pakistan.”

Achakzai said the house should also pass a resolution that parliament will be the real source of Pakistan’s internal and external policies.

Achakzai said that all the politicians from Jati Umra – the Sharif brothers’ residence in Lahore – to the incarcerated PTI chairman would salute all the judges, politicians and political workers, who respected the Constitution, adding all those who disrespected it were “Murdabad” (down with violators).

Recalling how judges were sent packing for opposing martial laws, he demanded that parliament should pass a resolution that all those judges, who opposed martial laws, should be declared “heroes of the Constitution”.

He demanded that their families should be given financial support, while those who supported martial laws should be stripped off of all the perks and privileges. This, he said, was the way forward to save and run Pakistan.

 

Reporters Farzana Siddique, Ehtisham Kiani and Ajiz Jamali


News Desk


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