In the midst of confusion related to the election timetable, the US has urged Pakistani authorities to hold “timely, free, and fair” elections in accordance with the country’s laws. This was said by State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller in response to a question about President Arif Alvi’s suggestion that elections be held no later than November 6 — the 89th day since the dissolution of the National Assembly. “As we do with countries around the world, we urge Pakistan to hold a free and fair – free and fair and timely elections, and to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms and the rule of law,” Miller told the journalists. The State Department spokesperson also urged Pakistani authorities to move forward with the electoral process in a manner consistent with Pakistan’s laws, “as we do with countries around the world”. A day earlier, President Arif Alvi wrote a letter to Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikander Sultan Raja, mentioning the cut-off date for elections. The president said that in the light of Article 48(5) of the Constitution, he has the authority and mandate “to appoint a date not later than 90 days from the date of dissolution [of assemblies], for holding of a general election to the assembly.” President Alvi said that the National Assembly was dissolved by him on the advice of the then-prime minister Shehbaz Sharif on August 9, 2023. […] in terms of Article 48(5) the general election to the National Assembly should be held by the eighty-ninth day of the date of dissolution of the National Assembly, i.e. Monday 6th Day of November 2023,” the letter stated. However, in the same letter, Alvi advised the CEC to seek advice from the Supreme Court on the poll date because the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and other stakeholders have stated that elections cannot be held without new delimitations based on a new census. In a meeting with CEC Sikandar Sultan Raja in Islamabad on Wednesday, British High Commissioner to Pakistan Jane Marriott emphasized the importance of free, credible, transparent, and inclusive elections in Pakistan. The British envoy posted about the meeting with the CEC at the Election Commission in the federal capital on her X, formerly Twitter, account. “Important introductory meeting with Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja at ECP today,” Marriot wrote in her post. The diplomat added that she and the CEC agreed that it is crucial for Pakistan to witness “free, credible, transparent and inclusive elections in line with the law”. Last month, United States Ambassador Donald Blome also met CEC Raja to reaffirm his country’s support for “free and fair elections”, adding that it would work to strengthen the US-Pakistan relationship with “whomever the Pakistani people choose”. According to the statement, the US ambassador stated that selecting Pakistan’s future leaders is up to the Pakistani people. The date of elections in Pakistan remains a subject of dispute, particularly after the then-Shehbaz Sharif-led government dissolved the National Assembly on August 9. Meanwhile, the assemblies in Sindh and Balochistan were dissolved prematurely to allow the electoral authority to hold elections in the country within 90 days. The law requires elections to be held within 60 days if the legislature completes its constitutional term; however, if assemblies are dissolved prematurely, the deadline is extended to three months. Furthermore, the country’s general elections are likely to be postponed after the Council of Common Interest (CCI) approved the 7th Population and Housing Census 2023 just days before the assemblies’ dissolution.