ISLAMABAD: Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar on Tuesday assured Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja of all possible support and resources for holding the next general elections, slated to be held on Feb 8.

The meeting came a day before the prime minister’s departure for a series of high-level international visits, beginning with the Economic Cooperation Organisation (ECO) summit in Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan, on Wednesday (today).

The premier will then pay an official visit to Saudi Arabia on Friday to attend a conference of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Gaza. Later, he is also likely to visit the UAE.

Before leaving for Tashkent, Mr Kakar will hold a press conference on Wednesday morning.

Kakar set to depart for Tashkent today to attend ECO summit; likely to visit Saudi Arabia, UAE

On Tuesday, Chief Election Commissioner Raja called on Mr Kakar at the Prime Minister’s House and invited him to visit the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to review the arrangements to ensure fair and free elections.

The chief election commissioner briefed the prime minister about the ECP’s preparations for the upcoming general elections in the country.

Mr Raja informed the premier that a final list of redrawn constituencies would be issued on Nov 30, after which the schedule for the general elections would be announced soon.

Hearings on objections regarding delimitations are presently under progress, and media reports suggest that a record 1,300 objections had been filed.

PM to visit Uzbekistan, S. Arabia

Mr Kakar is set to embark on an official visit to Tashkent on Wedne­s­day to participate in the 16th ECO summit, being held on Nov 8-9.

“At the summit, the prime minister will reaffirm Pakistan’s commitment to ECO Vision 2025 and to promoting regional cooperation in the areas of trade, transport, connectivity, energy, tourism and economic growth and productivity,” the Foreign Office spokesperson said in a statement on Tuesday.

The caretaker prime minister will present Pakistan’s vision for the future work of the organisation and for promoting regional connectivity and mutual prosperity. He will also engage in bilateral discussions with the leadership of Uzbekistan and other participating leaders.

The Economic Cooperation Organisation is a regional interstate forum founded in 1985 in Tehran. As a founding member, Pakistan remained committed to the goals of connectivity and mutual prosperity of the ECO region, the statement added.

Uzbekistan is set to host the ECO summit for the first time.

A source in the Prime Minister’s Office told Dawn that Mr Kakar would return from Tashkent on Thursday and proceed to Saudi Arabia on Friday to attend

OIC’s emergency conference on Palestine.

Published in Dawn, November 8th, 2023

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