By Our Web Reporter
LAHORE MIRROR – In an effort to dispel uncertainties surrounding the upcoming general elections, Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar pledged on Saturday that the interim government would not cite any excuses for delaying the polls.
During an interview with Voice of America before departing for the United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York, the caretaker prime minister reassured that every necessary measure would be taken to ensure the smooth progression of the election process without interruptions. He underscored the commitment to upholding the democratic process in the country.
“The elections will not be delayed due to border situations or law and order issues,” the prime minister firmly stated.
He expressed confidence in overcoming security threats along the country’s borders to complete the electoral process successfully.
Furthermore, the prime minister emphasized that it falls under the jurisdiction of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to announce the date for the general elections in the country. He expressed hope that the electoral watchdog would conduct the process honestly, highlighting that the interim government was prepared to provide financial resources and security assistance for the polls.
Addressing the issue of past election delays in two provinces, PM Kakar acknowledged that there might have been specific reasons at that time, which were acknowledged by various forums.
Regarding freedom of expression in the country, he stated that indicators in the region showed Pakistan’s significant progress in this regard. He affirmed that the media enjoys freedom and can voice concerns or raise issues concerning the government, its institutions, or economic matters.
When asked about Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan’s legal cases, PM Kakar refuted claims of efforts to sideline the deposed premier from politics. He emphasized that these matters are sub-judice due to allegations against Khan, and he hoped for a transparent judicial process.
Responding to another question, the prime minister clarified that the caretaker government operates in line with the ongoing constitutional process, with his nomination being made by the former Leader of the House and the opposition in the National Assembly.
PM Kakar reiterated Pakistan’s unwavering commitment to raising the issue of the Indian Illegally Occupied and Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) at global and regional forums. He stressed that this longstanding issue remains unresolved on the United Nations Security Council’s agenda.
He further highlighted the severe human rights violations in IIOJK, where the entire region has become one of the world’s largest prisons, stifling the voices of Kashmiris.
Regarding Pakistan’s role in achieving lasting peace in Afghanistan and the region, the caretaker prime minister mentioned the ongoing engagement with the Taliban and the international community at relevant forums. He pointed out the Taliban’s commitment under the Doha agreement not to use Afghan soil for terrorism against any country. PM Kakar also highlighted efforts to address Afghan transit issues, including illegal trade, and the growing significance of regional trade connectivity with Central Asian Republics.
Responding to questions about potential terrorist attacks from Afghan soil, he affirmed Pakistan’s right to defend against any terrorist activities and take necessary steps to protect its people and land when required, without disclosing further details.
Regarding his statement about the transfer of weapons left behind by the US and NATO in Afghanistan falling into the hands of terrorist outfits, PM Kakar clarified that it was not meant to level allegations against the US or any other country, and that any such impression was incorrect.
Finally, the prime minister downplayed Pakistan’s isolation and emphasized the country’s strong relations with Arab, Gulf, and other regional nations. He also expressed optimism that the decades-long relationship with the West would continue to strengthen in the coming years.