The Supreme Court of Pakistan has issued summons to top political leaders, including Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, PTI Chairman Imran Khan, and former President Asif Ali Zardari, to appear in court on Thursday in the ongoing election delay case.
The three-member bench, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial and comprising Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Muneeb Akhtar, heard the petition filed by the Defence Ministry, which asked the court to withdraw its order directing Punjab polls on May 14 and instead hold the elections simultaneously.
The bench has also asked the PDM Chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, JI Ameer Sirajul Haq, MQM-P Convener Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, ANP’s Asfandyar Wali, and PML-N Q’s Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain to appear before the court.
During the hearing, the apex court warned the government of “serious consequences” if it failed to release the funds required for conducting polls in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa while hearing the defence ministry’s request.
The court had earlier issued notices to all political parties, the Election Commission, the Attorney General, and the federal government.
The federal government wants the polls to take place later this year, as the tenure of the National Assembly and two other provinces – Sindh and Balochistan – will end in the coming months.
The SC had directed that Punjab polls take place on May 14, but the Defence Ministry has filed a petition to withdraw this order and hold the elections simultaneously. The court has summoned the top political leaders to appear on Thursday for further proceedings.