Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar on Saturday rejected any possibility of delay in holding general elections due to ‘security threats’ at Pakistan’s borders.
In an international media outlet interview, the caretaker prime minister expressed the confidence to overcome security threats at the country’s borders and complete the electoral process.
“Although there is an alarming situation on our western and eastern frontiers, wherein the required response mechanism is being enhanced, we are sure that we will control the situation and complete the electoral process,” he said.
He affirmed that measures would be taken to ensure that the election process proceed smoothly without disruptions and emphasised the commitment to upholding the democratic process in Pakistan.
About delay in holding elections in two provinces in the past, the prime minister observed that there might have been certain issues at that period which were accepted by different forums.
Dispelling certain rumours, PM Kakar said that it was the mandate of the Election Commission of Pakistan to announce a date for holding general elections in the country and expressed the hope that the ECP would complete the process honestly as it had already initiated certain steps.
He reiterated that the interim set up was ready to assist the ECP regarding provision of financial resources and security for the polls.
The statement came amid demands from various quarters for holding of general elections within constitutional mandated period of 90 days.
In response to a question, the caretaker PM reaffirmed that Pakistan would continue raising the Indian Illegally Occupied and Jammu and Kashmir issue at all the global and regional fora because it had been the oldest and unresolved agenda item of the United Nations Security Council.
PM Kakar said that Pakistan had been consistently and regularly defending and advocating the Kashmir issue at all the available multilateral and regional fora and would continue to do till its resolution. There were gross human rights violations in IIOJK, the entire area had been turned into the largest prison in the world, while Kashmiris’ voices were stifled, he maintained.
To a query, PM Anwaarul Haq Kakar said that there was freedom of expression in the country and their indicators in the region were much better in this regard.
“Media has the freedom and can raise voice or air any issue regarding the government, its institutions or the economic issues,” he asserted.
About Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan’s legal cases, he strongly rebutted the impression that efforts were being made to keep him out of the politics.
He said it was a sub-judice matter as there were allegations against him, adding the impression over his arrest was not correct and hoped that the judicial process would be transparent.
PM Kakar maintained that Pakistan was playing its part for a durable peace in Afghanistan and the region and was engaged with the Taliban and the international community at all the relevant forums.
He said that Taliban had committed under Doha agreement that Afghan soil would not be used against any country for terrorism.
He said that they were addressing Afghan transit issues including the illegal trade, adding that trade ties were not only improving with Afghanistan but also with all the Central Asian Republics as they all realized the significance of regional trade connectivity.
To a query regarding terrorist attacks from Afghan soil, he said Pakistan reserved the right to defend against any terrorist activity and would take necessary steps to defend its people and land whenever needed.
However, when the time arose, they would take appropriate decisions in this regard, he said without divulging further details.
Responding to a question, PM Kakar said that his statement regarding falling of weapons, left behind by the US and NATO in Afghanistan, in the hands of terrorists outfits was not meant to level any allegations against the US or any other country, and the impression in this regard was incorrect.