Top officials of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Military Intelligence (MI) met with the Chief Justice and other judges of the Supreme Court to discuss the provincial election in Punjab on May 14. The meeting lasted for more than three hours in the Chief Justice of Pakistan’s chamber. The intelligence officials briefed the judges on the security issues facing the country.
On April 4, a three-judge bench declared the Election Commission of Pakistan’s decision to postpone the Punjab Assembly election unconstitutional and ordered it to hold polls on May 14. The same bench ordered the State Bank of Pakistan to release Rs 21 billion to the ECP for conducting elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. April 17 was the deadline for informing the ECP about the security plan, as directed by the Supreme Court.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf chairman Imran Khan has been calling for early elections since his ouster in April 2022 after losing a vote of confidence in Parliament. The National Assembly’s term will end in August, and elections must be conducted within 90 days of dissolution of the lower house, meaning elections should be held in mid-October. The PTI dissolved assemblies in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunwkhwa in January to pressure the ruling coalition government to hold early general elections.