Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar has firmly rejected any potential delay in Pakistan’s general elections due to security concerns along the nation’s borders. In an interview with an international media outlet, Kakar expressed confidence in managing the security threats on Pakistan’s eastern and western borders, ensuring the electoral process proceeds without disruption. He emphasized the commitment to upholding Pakistan’s democratic process.
Kakar addressed past delays in holding elections in certain provinces, acknowledging that specific issues had been accepted by various forums at that time. He clarified that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) is responsible for announcing the election date and expressed hope that the ECP would carry out the process transparently, with the interim government prepared to support with financial resources and security measures.
This statement comes amid various demands for adhering to the constitutionally mandated 90-day period for general elections. President Arif Alvi has suggested November 6, 2023, as the election date in a letter to the Chief Election Commissioner. However, the ECP has indicated that elections might be delayed beyond the 90-day period due to the need to establish new boundaries for constituencies based on the latest census data.
Regarding the issue of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK), PM Kakar reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment to raising the matter on global and regional platforms. He highlighted ongoing human rights violations in IIOJK and the suppression of Kashmiri voices.
In response to a question about freedom of expression in Pakistan, Kakar emphasized that the country values media freedom and the ability to raise concerns about the government, institutions, or economic issues.
Regarding legal cases involving Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan, Kakar refuted claims that efforts were being made to sideline him from politics. He stressed that these were legal matters and that the judicial process should be transparent.
On the issue of peace in Afghanistan, PM Kakar stated that Pakistan is actively working toward lasting peace in Afghanistan and the region. He mentioned Pakistan’s engagement with the Taliban and the international community and their commitment under the Doha agreement not to use Afghan soil for terrorism. Kakar also addressed trade ties with Afghanistan and Central Asian Republics, highlighting the importance of regional trade connectivity.
In response to questions about terrorist attacks originating from Afghan soil, Kakar asserted Pakistan’s right to defend against such activities and take necessary measures to protect its people and territory. However, he did not provide specific details about future actions.
Finally, PM Kakar clarified that his previous statement about weapons left behind by the US and NATO in Afghanistan falling into the hands of terrorist groups was not meant as an accusation against any particular country. He emphasized that any misconceptions in this regard were incorrect.