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PM Kakar Foresees Elections Prior to February Next Year


ISLAMABAD (APP) — Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar on Thursday said that general elections in the country might be held ahead of February next year, but the Election Commission of Pakistan was the relevant forum to take a decision in this regard.

The ECP was mandated to take a decision in this regard and the caretaker government would fulfill its constitutional obligation by extending all possible support to the ECP for holding of elections, the prime minister expressed his views during an interview with a private Tv channel (Aaj News) programme.

To a question, the prime minister said that the Supreme Court was an apex body and if it announced any decision over the polls matter, it would be binding upon the interim government to implement its verdict in letter and spirit. Caretaker PM foresee general elections prior to Feb, stands ready to support ECP, implement SC’s decision “Let me assure, all the voters across the country, that they can chose the leadership of their choice with the power of their votes and there will be no institutional interference,” the prime minister asserted.

Prime Minister Kakar further elaborated that they would ensure a level playing field to all political parties who would have the freedom of expression and holding of processions.

He said that he himself would keenly observe the parties and would vote for the one that could give a suitable economic revival agenda. To a question, the caretaker prime minister said that the interim government was working under a synchronized manner. The government and other institutions, including the military leadership, were working together for the achievement of the economic objectives, he added.

PM Kakar emphatically said that it was the domain of the political parties to forge an economic charter and take the issue to the public and made it clear that the caretaker set up could not give such an agenda. It should be an indigenous programme of all the political parties who should opt to hold consultations among themselves and it was not the responsibility of the interim government, he reiterated.

Caretaker PM foresee general elections prior to Feb, stands ready to support ECP, implement SC’s decision With regard to the electricity issues, the prime minister said that it was unjustified that those power consumers who had been contributing with payment of their bills were burdened at the cost of the power thieves. He said that the interim government could not resolve the power issues in the short period, which included theft, losses, DISCOS privatization and stressed upon a mid term plan to address these.

The prime minister said that privatization of DISCOS was being commenced as the private sector had to run the business activities, adding that the caretaker government had given a plan for implementation. He also expressed the confidence that his government would achieve something in this regard by the end of its tenure. To another query, he maintained that during their discussions with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), there was no opposition to targeted subsidy to the poor power consumers.

The prime minister further said that they were holding negotiations with the provinces over the markets closures timings for energy conservation and emphasised upon reversal of attitude in this regard. The prime minister said that the country could attract $25 to 50 million investment in diverse sectors in the next few years, as the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Qatar had expressed their interests in various ventures.

By the end of December, they could foresee certain agreements as there were different proposals on the table in this respect, he added. About National Database Registration Authority (NADRA) rules, the caretaker prime minister said that data collection had been very sensitive and security linked issue throughout the world, especially in countries like Pakistan which faced terrorism.

He maintained that it was not unusual to appoint a retired military person as NADRA head who had a background in the security issues, adding that the rules permitted appointment of any experienced person from the military or civilian on the post. About social media and digital space, he said that there was discourse throughout the world as these platforms were also being used by the terrorists outfits who spread extreme hatred and propaganda.

To a query, he said that India could not achieve its objectives unless it resolve all the outstanding issues with Pakistan, in an equitable manner. On one hand, you (India) wanted the veto power and on the other hand, stripped the special status of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir, disregarded the UNSC resolutions and continued maltreatment of minorities in India, he added. The prime minister , responding to a question, said that those characters who had breached laws of the land on May 9, their cases should be taken to the logical end.

He maintained that he did not regard those miscreants who were involved in vandalism and arson attacks on that black day as terrorists and was not against any political party, but stressed that those who violated the laws of the land should face the legal proceedings.

The prime minister said that the interim government would want to strike a balance in the window available to it for the economic reforms for the larger benefits of the people of Pakistan. He also resolved to broaden the tax net by controlling its evasion with use of technology which would go in the larger interests of the people in future.