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Tuesday July 23, 2024

Borders situation not to impact polls: PM Kakar

PM affirms measures would be taken to ensure that election process proceeds smoothly without disruption

By News Desk
September 17, 2023
This photo shows Pakistans caretaker Prime Minister Anwarul Haq Kakar. — X/@anwaar_kakar
This photo shows Pakistan's caretaker Prime Minister Anwarul Haq Kakar. — X/@anwaar_kakar

ISLAMABAD: In a bid to end the uncertainty surrounding the general election, Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar vowed on Saturday that the interim government would not make any excuse for a delay in polls.

In an interview with Voice of America ahead of his departure for the United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York, the caretaker premier affirmed that measures would be taken to ensure that the election process proceeds smoothly without disruption and emphasised the commitment to uphold the democratic process in the country.

“Elections will not be delayed due to the situation at borders or law and order issue,” he expressed his resolve.

He also expressed the confidence to overcome security threats at the country’s borders and complete the electoral process.

The premier reiterated that it was the prerogative of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to announce a date for the general election in the country and expressed the hope that the electoral watchdog would complete the process honestly as it had already initiated certain steps.

He said the interim setup was ready to assist the ECP regarding provision of financial resources and security for polls.

Responding to a question about delay in holding of elections in two provinces in the past, the prime minister observed that there might have been certain issues at that time, which were accepted by different forums.

To a query, PM Kakar said there was freedom of expression in the country and Pakistan’s indicators in the region were much better on that front.

“Media has the freedom and can raise voice or air any issue regarding the government, its institutions or the economic issues,” he asserted.

About Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan’s cases, he strongly rebutted the impression that attempts were being made to keep the deposed premier out of politics. He said it was a sub-judice matter as there were allegations against him, adding the impression was wrong that his arrest was not correct, and hoped the judicial process would be transparent.

Replying to another question, he said the caretaker government was functioning due to a continuing constitutional process and he was nominated by the former leader of the house and the opposition in the National Assembly. He reaffirmed that Pakistan would continue raising the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) issue at all global and regional fora because it had been the oldest and unresolved agenda item of the United Nations Security Council.

He said that Islamabad had been consistently and regularly defending and advocating the Kashmir issue at all available multilateral and regional fora and would continue to do so till its resolution.

There were gross human rights violations in IIOJK, the entire area had been turned into the largest prison in the world, while Kashmiris’ voices were stifled, he maintained.

The caretaker prime minister maintained that Pakistan was playing its part for a durable peace in Afghanistan and the region and was engaged with the Taliban and international community at all the relevant forums.

He said that Taliban had made a commitment under Doha agreement that Afghan soil would not be used against any country for terrorism. He said they were addressing the Afghan transit issues, including illegal trade, adding that trade ties were not only improving with Afghanistan but also with all the Central Asian Republics as they all realised the significance of regional trade connectivity.

To a query regarding terrorist attacks from the Afghan soil, he said Pakistan reserved the right to defend against any terrorist activity and would take necessary steps to defend its people and land whenever needed.

However, when the time arrived, they would take appropriate decisions in that regard, he said without divulging further details.

Responding to a question, PM Kakar said his statement regarding weapons left behind by the US and NATO in Afghanistan falling into the hands of terrorist outfits was not meant to level any allegations against the US or any other country, and the impression in that regard was incorrect.

The prime minister rejected the notion of isolation of Islamabad and said that Pakistan enjoyed strong relations with the Arab, Gulf and other regional countries. While the decades of relationship with the West would grow stronger in the coming years, he added.