The postponement of the Punjab elections in Pakistan to 8th October reinforces the impression that the powers that be in Pakistan treat the Pakistan Constitution as a joke, an expendable commodity, to be invoked when it suits them, but to be jettisoned when it does not.
On 8th March the Election Commission of Pakistan ( ECP ) had issued a notification fixing elections for 30th April this year, and the Pakistan President Alvi had made an announcement to this effect.
But now the ECP has postponed the Punjab elections to 8th October.
From all available sources it was evident that Imran Khan’s PTI ( Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf ) would sweep the polls if elections are held now. The last bye elections, in which PTI won 6 of the 8 seats, and the opinion polls support this view.
Right or wrong, the vast majority of Pakistanis believe that Imran Khan is personally honest, while the ruling PDM ( Pakistan Democratic Movement ) leaders are regarded corrupt.
The problem for Imran Khan, however, is that by his fiery speeches in his public meetings he has alienated two powerful forces in Pakistan, the army, and the American Government, and these will oppose his becoming Prime Minister again tooth and nail.
In violation of the Pakistan Supreme Court verdict the ECP has postponed the Punjab elections, which were earlier fixed for 30th April, to 8th October, thus throwing all norms to the wind.
The Pakistani public and Imran Khan may shout and scream against this postponement, but that matters little.