ANI Photo | Pak general elections: Rashid Soomro eyes battle against Bilawal

Rashid Mahmood Soomro, the Secretary General of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) in Sindh, is poised to contest elections against Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, pending approval of the party ticket, The News International reported.
In a press conference in Sukkur, Soomro questioned the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP’s) strategy for campaigning in Punjab and other provinces following its lacklustre performance in Sindh, citing widespread issues such as poor education and healthcare.
Implicitly targeting the PPP, Soomro disputed the perception that only one party could dominate in Sindh, asserting it as a misguided notion, as reported by The News International.
He voiced concerns about the Election Commission’s choice of Returning Officers (ROs) and District Returning Officers (DROs) from the bureaucracy, questioning the transparency of such a selection process.
In response to a query, Soomro highlighted that despite objections from ten parties regarding delimitations, the PPP’s request led to the delimitation being carried out.
During the press conference, Mir Mahar, a prominent politician from Sukkur, declared his allegiance to Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F).
Mahar, who garnered over 18,000 votes in the last elections, expressed his admiration for JUI-F as an ideological party and pledged to actively contribute as a JUI-F activist, The News International reported.
Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) has announced that it will launch its election campaign on December 27, the 16th death anniversary of former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, Pakistan-based Dawn reported.
President Arif Alvi and the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) have reached consensus on scheduling general elections for February 8. This agreement follows a meeting mandated by the Supreme Court (SC), instructing the electoral watchdog to consult with the president regarding the election date.
Earlier, the ECP had ruled out polls for the current year, citing the necessity for a fresh delimitation of constituencies. According to Article 224 of the Constitution, elections must be conducted within 90 days of the dissolution of the National Assembly, which occurred three days before its constitutional term ended, setting the deadline by November 7.
While the commission previously indicated that elections would take place in January 2024 without specifying a date, the decision has elicited varied responses from political parties. The JUI-F expressed opposition, citing concerns about “weather conditions,” whereas the PML-N supported the ECP’s stance.
In contrast, the PPP and PTI called for the immediate announcement of the election date and assurance of a fair electoral environment. Concurrently, the caretaker government has expressed optimism that the election date will be disclosed soon, Dawn reported.

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