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PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Caretaker Chief Minister retired Justice Dost Muhammad Khan said here on Monday that the defeat of some top leaders of political parties in the general elections could prove harmful for the country as they would have played important role in the parliament in case of any future constitutional crisis.

Inaugurating the digital library at Peshawar District Bar, the chief minister said that if the leaders of political parties had won, there would not have been protests by those parties outside the parliament.

Responding to the allegations of poll rigging, he said that he had played active role in peaceful polling in the province and if any illegality had taken place, or not, the caretaker government could not be held responsible for it as it was not its mandate.

“If any illegality had taken place or not after polling time, the caretaker government had no responsibility in that regard,” he said.

Caretaker CM says democracy best system of governance

The chief minister said that the caretaker government was neutral and was not supportive towards any political party. “It remained our endeavour to hold peaceful elections in the province so that people could freely exercise their right of franchise,” he said.

He regretted that three unfortunate acts of terrorism had taken place during the elections.

He said that democracy was vital for the country as despite several flaws it was the best way of government provided that the institutions functioned in their constitutional domain.

The chief minister dispelled the impression of favouritism in selecting caretaker provincial cabinet, stating that all the ministers were appointed purely on merit and their expertise in the relevant fields.

He said that following the enactment of the Elections Act, 2017, the caretaker government had very limited mandate whereas the Election Commission of Pakistan was having most of the powers. He added that due to same reason, they faced hardships on different occasions but they still tried their best to overcome the difficulties.

Mr Khan said that he monitored security situation during elections and to make the situation foolproof, they called for 68 platoons of Frontier Constabulary from Islamabad and 500 trained personnel of police from Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

The chief minister said that government had drawn future roadmap for the incoming government, especially in field of health and education.

He said that good governance was important for the province as it was devastated by militancy and infrastructure was in shamble.

Mr Khan said that there was dire need of mainstreaming of the seven tribal districts merged with the province, otherwise there would be a void in those areas which could be exploited by terrorists.

Peshawar District Bar Association president Wakeel Zaman Khattak also addressed the function.

Published in Dawn, August 14th, 2018