Caretaker setup to remain impartial, ensure free & fair elections: PM

 Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar on Friday, reiterating the government’s resolve to fulfill its duty of ensuring free, fair and transparent elections, said the caretaker setup would remain fully impartial.

Dispelling the impression that a certain political party was being favoured by the caretakers, he said the political parties normally tried to attract their voters in different ways and such allegations might be their tactics.

“We are fully focused on holding the elections in a free, fair and transparent manner and are fully supporting the Election Commission for the purpose,” he added

PM Kakar, in an interview with a private news channel (Suno News), also denied the impression that his cabinet member Fawad Hassan Fawad, had affiliation with a certain political party. “He is one of the best cabinet members and an able former bureaucrat. Due to his talent and abilities, he used to become a favorite choice of every ruling party during his service.”

He said Fawad was fully justifying his appointment as Minister for Privatization. The caretaker government would hopefully succeed in achieving the set target of privatization of state-owned enterprises at the its tenure due to his untiring efforts, he added.

As regards the recent depreciation of rupee against dollar, the prime minister said due to the government’s actions, the artificial demand for the dollar had significantly reduced and now the rupee value was being adjusted according to the actual demand and supply of the greenback.

He expressed his satisfaction that the country’s economy had now almost become stable. Pakistan had also reached the staff level agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), he added.

“We have achieved our target of ‘economic health’ which was a very big challenge for the caretaker setup,” he remarked.

To a question, PM Kakar maintained that it was for the courts to decide about the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf. The caretaker government would be bound to follow court orders regarding the PTI chairman’s participation in the elections, he added.

To another question, he said the state would not, in any case, allow any group or party to resort to mob violence in the country.

With respect to the prevailing situation in Gaza and the West Bank, the prime minister said the recent emergency meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) gave a unanimous strong message with collective wisdom to ensure ceasefire in Palestine that would hopefully be implemented soon.

He said Israel was committing war crimes and crimes against humanity. The atrocities committed by Israel in Gaza had rather become a humanitarian issue as millions of people in Europe and rest of the world, belonging to different faiths and religions, were on the roads in protest.

As regards the relations between China and the United States, the prime minister said both the countries were economic powers and they had opted the right choice of engaging each other. Pakistan could neither remain in isolation nor choose any bloc.There were many countries like Pakistan which were closely related to China and had also good relations with the US.

To a question about the repatriation of illegal Afghan immigrants, the prime minister clarified that there was no outside pressure in the matter.

“Afghanistan or Afghans are not our enemies as we have centuries old good brotherly relations,” he said. However, he also made it clear that both countries were two different states, therefore, the government was bound to follow certain rules and regulations regarding Afghan nationals who had been residing in the country illegally.

He said the government had not banned the Afghan nationals from living in the country, but they would have to get them registered with proper legal documents.

By Mian saeed Ahme Khan