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All political parties to be provided level playing field for polls: Solangi

By Our Correspondent
September 23, 2023

Caretaker Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Murtaza Solangi on Friday reiterated the resolve of the interim government to provide a level playing field to all registered political parties in the next general elections.

Addressing a news conference along with Sindh Governor Kamran Khan Tessori the Governor House, he assured all political groups of impartial treatment during the upcoming election campaign.

Solangi said the caretaker government’s tenure got extended a little bit due to the approval of the results of a fresh census by the Council of Common Interests. While referring to Article 51 (5) of the constitution, he stated that the elections would be held in line with the recently approved census after fresh delimitations of the constituencies.

The information minister said the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) was actively engaged in the delimitation process and would announce preliminary results on November 27, with the final results to be released on November 30. He noted that the ECP as per the Election Act would have to give 54 days to political parties for their election campaigns.

Solangi welcomed the announcement by the ECP that the elections would take place in last week of January, saying that it ended the undue propaganda against the caretaker government.

With regard to criticism of the induction of Fawad Hassan Fawad into the interim federal cabinet, he said Faward had served in the civil service for over 35 years and worked with various governments.

He stressed that civil servants had no power over the assignments assigned to them and a person who had been unjustly imprisoned shouldn’t be subjected to unfounded criticism. He also clarified that Fawad had no political affiliations.

Responding to a query, Solangi expressed his commitment to pursuing justice in the murder case of Sukkur-based journalist Jan Muhammad Mahar, stating that he had personally raised the matter with the interim Sindh chief minister.

He said the caretaker government had nothing to do with the issues related to Nawaz Sharif, adding that his cases were in the court, and it was inappropriate to speculate on this matter.

He stressed that all citizens in the country were entitled to their fundamental rights. He highlighted the importance of student organisations while terming them a pillar of democracy.

The federal minister underscored the role of an independent and empowered election commission in ensuring free, fair, and transparent elections. Solangi said that the government had been actively working to address the issues of workers of newspapers and TV channels.

He confirmed the arrest of journalist Khalid Jamil by the FIA in Islamabad and emphasised adherence to constitutional and legal procedures, including producing individuals before the court within 24 hours.

He said the caretaker government would not interfere in the judicial matters. To another query, he said the institutions were functioning freely, and if anybody had any issue they could reach out to the relevant forums.

Speaking on the occasion, Governor Kamran Khan Tessori appreciated the efforts of the caretaker government to revive the economy. He said the national economy was well on track for revival.