The Prime Minister, Mr. Kakar, believes that the border situation will not have an effect on the elections

In an effort to eliminate the uncertainty surrounding the upcoming general elections, Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar stated on Saturday that the interim government is committed to ensuring that there are no excuses for delaying the polls. During an interview with Voice of America before his departure for the United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York, he reassured that measures will be taken to ensure a smooth electoral process without disruptions, emphasizing a dedication to upholding democracy in the country.

The Prime Minister firmly expressed that the border situation or law and order issues will not lead to any delays in the elections. He also expressed confidence in managing security threats at the country’s borders and successfully completing the electoral process.

Furthermore, Prime Minister Kakar reiterated that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) holds the authority to announce the election date and hoped that the ECP would carry out the process transparently, noting that the interim government is prepared to support the ECP with financial resources and security for the elections.

Regarding past election delays in two provinces, the Prime Minister acknowledged that certain issues might have contributed to those delays, which were acknowledged by various forums.

The recent approval of the 7th Population and Housing Census in 2023 by the Council of Common Interest (CCI) has raised the possibility that elections may not occur within the constitutionally mandated 90-day limit for holding them. The ECP’s schedule for new delimitations based on the census results indicates that elections may take longer than 90 days to organize.

In response to a question, PM Kakar affirmed the freedom of expression in the country, with media having the liberty to raise issues concerning the government, its institutions, or economic matters.

Regarding cases involving Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan, he dismissed suggestions that efforts were being made to keep the deposed premier out of politics, stating that it’s a sub-judice matter with allegations against him, and he hoped the judicial process would be transparent.

The Prime Minister also confirmed Pakistan’s commitment to raising the issue of the Indian Illegally Occupied and Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) at global and regional forums, highlighting its unresolved status on the United Nations Security Council’s agenda.

He emphasized Pakistan’s role in promoting durable peace in Afghanistan and its engagement with the Taliban and the international community to achieve this. Pakistan is committed to ensuring that Afghan soil is not used for terrorism, addressing transit and trade issues, and defending against terrorist activities originating from Afghan soil when necessary.

Regarding his previous statement about weapons left by the US and NATO in Afghanistan falling into the hands of terrorist groups, the Prime Minister clarified that it was not meant as an accusation against any country.

He concluded by stating that Pakistan enjoys strong relations with Arab, Gulf, and other regional countries and anticipates strengthening its decades-old relationship with Western nations in the years to come.

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