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Thursday, February 22, 2024  
11 Shaban 1445  

Army deployment to be deliberated if requested by ECP: Kakar

Adds that Pakistan has 'minimum' defence budget compared to region

Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar on Wednesday reiterated interim government’s commitment to counter the security challenges in run up to the upcoming elections and said that they were focused to counter the threats of terrorism with effective measures.

In an interview with a private Tv (Dawn News) programme, the prime minister responding to a query regarding recent statements of JUI-F Amir Maulana Fazlur Rehman and others said that basically, they were showing readiness for the elections, but shared their concerns regarding security issues like certain incidents of terrorism in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

He said that personnel of the armed forces and other law enforcement personnel were giving sacrifices in the fight against terrorism.

To another question regarding provision of security and deployment of armed forces during the upcoming general elections, he said that when a request in this regard was received, they would deliberate upon it after seeking input and assessment from the relevant departments.

The caretaker prime minister further opined that the police force had capacity and resources related challenges though they had performed well especially the KP police which had the lead role in countering terrorism. Still the police force had certain limitations to counter the threats of terrorism.

To a question, he said that before assuming the office, he had held meetings with the different political leaders.

He said after completing his tenure as caretaker prime minister, he would mull to join a political party if requested for.

Replying to another question regarding certain political figures appearing on Tv screens and announcing their political affiliations, the prime minister said those individuals had their own decisions and he could not give his opinion over their decisions.

Regarding PTI’s claims over denial of political activities, the caretaker prime minister said that if any specific complaint was moved before him, he would take it up.

Those who had not been involved in 9th May riots, there was no bar over their political and electoral participation, he said adding that the interim set up would ensure that there should be no injustice.

Prime Minister Kakar, to a query, said that he was also learning from the politicians as it was good to learn from one’s own and others mistakes.

He said Pakistan was facing governance challenges including the tax collection issue as the entire story revolved around it, adding that there might be a serious discourse over the efficiency of the social delivery system which ensured education, health and job opportunities. He said about huge losses in power sector had affected the national economy.

The prime minister said that when compared with the rest of the region, Pakistan had the minimum defence budget in which it was ensuring its security.

To a question, he maintained that a sub-committee of Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) was only giving recommendations over tax reforms.

The caretaker prime minister said that military had a facilitation role in the SIFC and it was only addressing the issues where the investment was being hindered. While an entire relevant team and authorities from the ministries concerned were coordinating and cooperating and sorting out the issues, he said, adding that SIFC was a product of the parliament backed by statutory rules.

About his recent visits to friendly countries and the prospects for investments, the prime minister said that they had signed 10 MOUs with China and other multi-billions MOUs with the UAE and Kuwait which would bring billions of dollars investment.

He said that the country’s economy was showing positive trends. Barrick Gold investment in Reko Diq had changed the investment scenario adding to the confidence of the foreign investors.

There was a conducive environment and the foreign investors were viewing Pakistan from the regional spectrum, he added.

About a question regarding the 18th Amendment, he said that if any politician had a viewpoint he or she could express it and if there were any shortcomings, in his view, they could address them in the parliament.

No one should feel offended with certain viewpoints as a constructive discourse could be held and the parliament was the forum for legislation, he opined. He also termed the introduction of 18th Amendment as landmark achievement of former PPP government.

Responding to Bilawal’s recent statements regarding ageing politicians, the prime minister observed that age was not the basis for politics and referred to President Putin, President Xi, Prime Minister Modi, President Biden and Italian prime minister, who were in the old age brackets, whereas few people could perform well in the younger ages.

The caretaker prime minister also commended performance of Bilawal Bhutto Zardari as the country’s former foreign minister.

To a query regarding claims of Aafia Siddiqui’s lawyer, the prime minister said that he learnt from his media statements which were painful.

He said that he had asked the foreign office to take it up the issue as she was their citizen and her rights in the prison could not be disrespected.

The prime minister said that they would take up the issue with the US administration.

He said that Aafia was imprisoned under the US laws, but it was also related to her rights issues under the international laws.

About the issue of repatriation of illegal aliens, the caretaker prime minister reiterated that they had hosted the Afghan refugees in the last five decades.

They were not taking action against the registered refugees only the undocumented aliens were being sent back. They could come back under the regulated movement and valid documents, he added.

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Election commission of Pakistan

anwaarul haq kakar

election 2024

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