The caretaker government, in a recent statement, emphasized that all political parties, including PTI, have an equal right to participate in the upcoming general elections as per the constitution and existing electoral laws. They made it clear that the remarks made by the caretaker prime minister in a recent interview with the foreign news agency Associated Press were misconstrued and inaccurately reported.
The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting released the original text of the Associated Press interview to clarify that Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar intended to convey that while participating in elections is a right, legal consequences for criminal activities are also warranted.
The ministry expressed regret that certain media outlets had distorted the interview to create the false impression that certain individuals would be barred from participating in the general elections.
The key excerpts from the Prime Minister’s interview were highlighted:
“We are not pursuing anyone on a personal vendetta,” Kakar stated. “However, we will ensure that the rule of law is upheld. Whether it’s Imran Khan or any other politician who violates the country’s laws in terms of their political conduct, we must ensure that the law is upheld. This is not political discrimination.”
Kakar noted that fair elections could proceed without Khan or numerous members of his party who are currently in custody due to their involvement in unlawful activities, including acts of vandalism and arson, which were connected to the unrest following Khan’s initial arrest in May.
The caretaker prime minister further mentioned that those in Khan’s party who did not engage in unlawful activities “will be involved in the political process and participate in the elections.”
The Information Ministry reiterated that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and its leaders are free to participate in the elections on equal terms with any other political party. They clarified that there are no barriers preventing PTI leaders or the party as a whole from contesting the elections.
The statement stressed the equality of all citizens before the law and emphasized that the legal process will take its course for anyone facing legal charges. The courts are independent, and the caretaker government has no intention or authority to influence them at any level.
Additionally, it was clarified that anyone dissatisfied with a decision from a statutory or judicial body has the constitutional right to appeal to the next level in the judicial hierarchy for relief.
“The caretaker government is dedicated to ensuring free and fair elections. It will support the constitutional and legal framework for conducting elections and will ensure strict compliance with all directives and orders from the Election Commission of Pakistan and the independent judiciary,” the government concluded in its statement.
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