PTI not barred from contesting polls, says PM Kakar

Published September 12, 2023
PM Anwaarul Haq speaks to Dunya TV in a programme aired on Sept 11. — Screengrab from Dunya TV
PM Anwaarul Haq speaks to Dunya TV in a programme aired on Sept 11. — Screengrab from Dunya TV

ISLAMABAD: Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar on Monday said there was no restriction on the PTI from taking part in elections.

Talking about the incidents of May 9 during an interview with Dunya TV, the interim PM said “miscreants” had resorted to vandalism and the incident was widely reported by the media.

“The accused involved in the incident would be dealt with according to the law of the land,” he said.

In a separate interview, his regime’s chief spokesperson — Information Minister Murtaza Solangi — said that the caretaker government was commited to fostering positive relationships with all political parties. He said PTI was a duly registered political party and there was no restriction on its participation in the electoral process.

Talking about elections, PM Kakar reiterated his stance that it was for the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to decide a date, adding: “We have no intention to prolong the tenure of the caretaker government.”

This sentiment was also echoed by Mr Solangi, who said that the ultimate choice of supporting a certain political party rested with the people. The incumbent government’s focus was on how to hold impartial, fair and transparent elections and the ECP’s role in that regard would also be crucial, he said.

Once the delimitation process completed, he said, political parties would have 54 days to conduct their election campaigns, adding that the caretaker regime was committed to working closely with the commission to create an atmosphere conducive to political activities.

Mr Kakar said PML-N supreme leader Nawaz Sharif was thrice elected prime minister, but he would also be treated according to law whenever he returned.

In reply to a question, the premier said he had no intention to hold meetings with the leadership of political parties.

Minorities’ rights

During a meeting with a delegation of the Christian community, the caretaker PM reiterated that minorities enjoyed equal rights in Pakistan, and assured them of complete protection of their rights and security.

 PM Kakar meets a delegation of the Christian community on Sept 11. — PID photo.
PM Kakar meets a delegation of the Christian community on Sept 11. — PID photo.

Interim Minister for Human Rights Khalil George and other officials also attended the meeting.

PM Kakar said that those responsible for the Jaranwala incident would be made an example so that such incidents would not occur in future.

He asked the minorities to give proposals for the resolution of their problems.

Haj arrangements

Presiding over a meeting Haj 2024, the interim PM directed the authorities concerned to finalise arrangements ahead of the coming season under their supervision.

He asked for the setting up of a committee to review the Haj arrangements, adding that there should be no compromise over the facilities for pilgrims.

The prime minister directed for the submission of a comprehensive report over complaints of pilgrims related to the Haj 2023.

A directive was also issued to the ministry concerned as well as the ministry of information technology for the launch of a mobile application and website for facilitation and registration of complaints for the intending pilgrims.

Published in Dawn, September 12th, 2023

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