The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has invited the Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) and Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) to separate meetings tomorrow (Monday) on the electoral roadmap for the upcoming general elections. According to notices issued Saturday to MQM-P convener Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui and JI emir Sirajul Haq, the ECP invited the two leaders to discuss the electoral roadmap with their feedback on the five areas including delimitation of constituencies, upgradation of electoral rolls, conduct of general elections, schedule of elections, other related matters. The notices said the ECP was charged with the constitutional duty to organise and conduct elections and to make arrangements to ensure they were held “honestly, justly, fairly and in accordance with the law and that corrupt practices are guarded against”. Meanwhile, a statement issued by the MQM-P after a meeting of its coordination committee categorically said: “It is not possible to hold transparent elections without new delimitation.” It added the MQM-P would use all constitutional and legal measures for new and fair delimitation. Separately, the electoral watchdog also decided to hold a meeting with the police chiefs, chief secretaries and election commissioners of the four provinces in a high-level meeting on Tuesday on preparations for the elections. All parties will give briefings to each other on the security situations and plans in the provinces for the upcoming elections as well as the administrative preparations for the polls. The ECP’s consultations with mainstream political parties on devising a roadmap to the general elections kicked off on Thursday with meetings with the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl and PTI, followed by a session with the PML-N on Friday and one scheduled with the PPP for Tuesday. In its meeting with the PML-N, the ECP said it would carry out work on delimiting constituencies and updating the electoral rolls side by side to ensure the work is done in the minimum possible time, rekindling hope for polls in February next year. Earlier this month, the ECP had ruled out elections this year, following the notification of the latest 2023 digital census. Though it would still be a violation of the Constitution, which requires holding polls within 90 days after the dissolution of assemblies, the ECP’s reassurance to the PML-N allayed fears that the elections could be delayed for several months after completion of delimitation on the pretext of synchronisation of electoral rolls with new census blocks. The decision, if implemented, would ensure that the electoral college is in place for the Senate before the expiry of the term of half of its members in March. The ECP spokesman said the commission had begun the task of simultaneously conducting the delimitation and updating electoral rolls with the intention to complete both processes concurrently. He had dismissed the speculations that ECP would commence the process to update electoral rolls only after the delimitation process concluded in December. Separately, PPP leader Khursheed Shah said the party stood by its demand to have polls within 90 days of the National Assembly’s dissolution in accordance with the Constitution.