COAS General Asim Munir Assures February 8 for Pakistan Elections

In a recent interaction with the Pakistani-American business community in the United States, Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff (COAS), General Asim Munir, assured that the upcoming general elections in Pakistan will be held on February 8, 2024. This assurance came just hours before the Supreme Court issued a verdict on the conduct of the polls.

The issue of the election date was raised during a dinner reception hosted by the Pakistan Embassy in Washington. A Texas-based Pakistani businessman, Tanveer Ahmed, who was among the attendees, quoted General Munir as saying, “As far as I know general elections will be held on the 8th of February”.

General Munir’s statement came amidst legal uncertainties surrounding the election. The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) had filed a petition in the Lahore High Court (LHC) against the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), which was heard at the time. The army chief referred to this petition and stated, “If elections get delayed due to that it won’t be beyond the limit when Senate elections are to be held”. The next Senate elections in Pakistan are likely to be held in March 2024.

On December 13, the LHC suspended the ECP’s notification to requisition returning officers (ROs) from the bureaucracy4. This decision created doubts about whether the elections would be held on time. However, the Supreme Court later suspended the LHC’s verdict and directed the ECP to proceed as planned.

General Munir’s assurance is significant as it provides clarity amidst the legal complexities and uncertainties surrounding the upcoming elections. It also underscores the commitment of the Pakistani military to uphold the democratic process in the country.

The military’s role in the political landscape of Pakistan has been a topic of discussion, especially in the context of the upcoming elections. The military has historically wielded significant influence in Pakistani politics, and its stance on the upcoming elections is seen as crucial for the stability and democratic process of the country.

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