“Do not give an impression that people will see you as a spokesman of a party,” the minister said in a statement posted on X. The whole nation desires that the President plays his role as the symbol of the federation,” he said, urging him to steer clear of any perception that aligned him with a specific political party. The minister said the statements made by the president in the wake of the election seemed to be in conflict with his constitutional role.
“In a letter, the president raises PTI’s concerns on a level playing field”
He called on the president to allow the constitutional institutions, specifically the Election Commission of Pakistan, to perform their duties without interference.
Highlighting the ECP’s commitment and meticulous approach to the electoral process, Mr Solangi said that the election date had been announced, and all political parties were allowed to engage in activities within constitutional and legal parameters.
Drawing a metaphorical comparison, Mr Solangi observed that those advocating for a level playing field had, in the past, contributed to chaos and even abandoned elections.
He expressed hope that President Alvi would prioritise his role as the head of state, facilitating a transparent and fair democratic process for all political entities.
President Dr Arif Alvi on Wednesday made himself more controversial when he wrote a letter to caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar conveying concerns raised by the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) about the “erosion of fundamental rights” and urged the caretaker government to provide level playing field to all political parties in the run-up to general elections early next year.
He wrote that it was “reassuring to hear your recent statements whereby you stated that it was caretaker government’s policy that all registered political parties should have equal rights and opportunities to contest the forthcoming elections”.
The president stated that democracy is the only viable way forward for the state and people of Pakistan, the essence of which lies in giving people the right to participate in political activities and express their opinions through a free media.
He said there was resonance in Pakistan that, for free, fair, and credible elections, all political parties and leaders had the right to contest, and it was up to the people to decide their ruler.
President Alvi, who belongs to the PTI and has been accused of favouring the party many times, also forwarded a letter sent to him by PTI General Secretary Omar Ayub Khan.
Earlier this month, the ECP and President Alvi agreed on Feb 8, 2024, as the date for general elections — an announcement that has stirred activity in the camps of major political parties.
PTI has alleged that it is being stopped from carrying out political activities, and several of its leaders are incarcerated following violence in the country on May 9.
In his letter, Dr Alvi said, “The president of Pakistan represents the unity of the republic as head of state under Article 41 of the Constitution of Pakistan and is, therefore, duty-bound, along with the prime minister and all institutions, to protect the rights of the citizens, as enshrined in the Constitution.”
Dr Alvi said it was for this very reason that he was sending the letter containing PTI’s allegations, which he said had also been debated in the media, regarding increasing cases of enforced disappearances of individuals with known political affiliation. He said such instances became a matter of concern when resulted in converting political associations and loyalties.