Minister confident about peaceful, transparent polls

Karachi

Caretaker federal minister for information and broadcasting, Barrister Ali Zafar here on Saturday said interim set up in the country was well geared up to facilitate the Election Commission of Pakistan
(ECP) for holding general election 2018 peacefully and in transparent manners.
Talking to media persons, following the inauguration of a waste water treatment plant on the premises of Quaid e Azam’s mausoleum, he said as per constitution of the country the caretaker government
could in no manner prevail upon the ECP, but only assist it in realizing the grave responsibility of fair, free and transparent elections.
Reiterating that caretaker government at federal level was committed to help get materialized the election process on July 25, 2018 with utmost impartiality, the minister said as per Article 19-A of the constitution, citizens of the country were grantedthe right of easy access to information.
This, he said was being duly ensured enabling citizens to discuss and debate issues related to their rights vis a vis the manifestos and commitments made by the candidates seeking their votes.
Barrister Ali Zafar urged the media to contribute towards the cause with equal attention that voters were duly persuaded to exercise their right to vote.
With regard to a question about time slot allotted on daily basis to certain contenders on certain private channels and that this might be in violation to ECP rules, the minister said there were media houses with their respective sympathies and thus might be offering free beaming hours to the candidates.
“Private channels are free to project or support any party or candidate while government itself has no right to interfere,” he said.
PEMRA itself, he said was an independent body with its own code of conduct and the government would support its implementation, he added.
To a query, the minister said provincial government could seek support or assistance of the federal government that also if only the former deemed fit otherwise federal government had no right to interfere in matters related to arrangements for general election. About the waste water plant inaugurated by him on the Mazar-e Quaid e Azam’s premises, he said this was part of the ongoing effortsrelated to water conservation.
Mentioning that the waste water treatment plant will be completed by the end of current year or early next year, he said this would be used to water the spacious lawns and plantation on the site as well as the park next to the mausoleum.

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