Wednesday December 06, 2023

PM Kakar reaffirms resolve to ensure fair elections

Those who breached military properties should face military courts, says caretaker premier

By Web Desk
November 18, 2023
Interim Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar. — PM Office/File
Interim Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar. — PM Office/File  

As the electioneering for the general elections 2024 gained momentum, interim Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar reiterated the government's commitment to ensure free, fair and transparent polls in the country.

In an exclusive interview with Voice of America a day earlier, the caretaker PM said, "What I am trying to do over here is, we should commit ourselves to the utmost transparency, to the utmost fair play, to all the players and even then, after that, if we are criticised, we are okay with it."

Earlier this month, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) announced to hold general elections in the country on February 8. The development came after an ECP delegation — in compliance with the SC’s order — headed by CEC Raja met President Arif Alvi at the President’s Secretariat to discuss the poll date.

Responding to a question, the caretaker PM vehemently opposed the Supreme Court’s October 23 judgment, declaring the military trial of civilians arrested in connection with the May 9 mayhem null and void.

"Of course, they should be tried in military courts. It has got nothing to do with, anything, the word of democracy," he added.

Slamming the May 9 rioters, the premier said it was fine if people protested outside the political office, but those breaching military properties should face military courts.

"Why people go towards the military installation?" he asked. "If they choose to do so, there are laws in every country and in this country, and they have to face the consequences of that."

The May 9 riots occurred almost across the country after the deposed prime minister's arrest in the £190 million settlement case. Hundreds of PTI workers and senior leaders were put behind bars for their involvement in violence and attacks on military installations.

During the protests, the miscreants targeted the civil and military installations including — Jinnah House and the General Headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi. The military termed May 9 "Black Day" and decided to try the protesters under the Army Act.

‘Elections can be held minus Imran Khan’

In September this year, the caretaker PM claimed that free and fair polls can be held even without the incarcerated PTI chairman — who is currently in Attock jail.

In an interview with The Associated Press, PM Kakar said: “Free and fair elections can take place without [Imran] Khan or hundreds of members of his party who are jailed because they engaged in unlawful activities including vandalism and arson.”

Responding to a question, PM Kakar said that those PTI activists, who are serving jail sentences, were involved in arson attacks, vandalism and other illegal activities.

“Thousands of PTI activists who did not engage in unlawful activities can partake in the upcoming elections,” he added.