Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar has stated that he does not foresee any delay in Pakistan’s general elections due to the current security situation at the country’s borders. He expressed this view in an interview with Voice of America (VOV) Urdu when asked about the possibility of a delay.
Kakar emphasized that despite the security challenges on Pakistan’s western and eastern borders, the government is confident that it will control the situation and complete the electoral process as scheduled. This statement comes amid calls from various quarters for the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to announce the election date promptly.
The ECP has previously stated that elections will be postponed beyond the constitutionally mandated 90-day period following the dissolution of the National Assembly in May due to the notification of results from the new digital 2023 census and legal requirements.
President Dr. Arif Alvi has proposed holding general elections by November 6, citing the constitutional timeframe for the polls. However, the ECP maintains its authority to unilaterally announce election dates without presidential consultation, as per an amendment to the Elections Act 2017.
Kakar reiterated that the caretaker government’s role is to assist the ECP in organizing elections and that it is the ECP’s responsibility to announce the poll date. He also assured that the caretaker government is providing necessary assistance for the elections.
Regarding concerns over potential surgical strikes or drone attacks in Afghanistan due to threats from the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Kakar stated that Pakistan has the right to defend itself and will take action as necessary to protect its land and people. He did not delve into specific operational details but emphasized Pakistan’s commitment to its interests in talks with the Afghan Taliban.
Kakar also addressed trade ties with Afghanistan and Central Asia, highlighting improvements in these relationships. He dismissed the notion of Pakistan’s isolation on the world stage due to growing ties between Gulf countries and India, emphasizing that international relations are based on the convergence of interests.
Regarding press freedom and restrictions on mentioning PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s name in the media, Kakar stated that Pakistan’s indicators for journalistic freedom of expression are relatively better than those in the region. He emphasized that journalists have the freedom to raise various issues, including human rights, state institutions’ conduct, and economic reforms. He also noted that legal proceedings against Imran Khan are ongoing and should follow due process.