Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar has said the interim government is committed to upholding the democratic process in Pakistan by holding general elections and it will not make any excuse to delay it.
Kakar's remarks come amid growing demand from various quarters for immediate announcement of the poll date by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), which has already said elections will be pushed beyond the constitutionally mandated period of 90 days following the dissolution of the National Assembly on August 9.
His comments came ahead of his departure for New York to represent Pakistan at the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). Kakar, who left for New York on Sunday, will be the first interim prime minister to represent Pakistan at the UNGA, according to the Dawn newspaper.
The ECP decided to conduct a fresh delimitation of Constituencies based on the new census, delaying the general elections. President Arif Alvi has proposed to the ECP to hold general elections by November 6, citing a constitutionally mandated time frame for the polls.
Kakar affirmed that measures would be taken to ensure that the election process proceeds smoothly without disruptions and emphasised the interim government's commitment to upholding the democratic process in the country.
When asked about the reasons behind the caretaker government's inability to end the “speculation surrounding elections, he said: “I don't believe that the caretaker government should intervene and address such speculation."
“Primarily, according to the law and Constitution, it (organising polls) is the Election Commission of Pakistan's job, and we are certain that they are performing this task with sincerity," Kakar said,
“They have already initiated the process, and they are fulfilling some constitutional requirement, probably pertaining to delimitation … and they will soon announce the (poll) date,” he said.
Asked about the possibility of a delay in general elections due to the security situation at Pakistan's borders, he said, “I see no such possibility at present."
"Although there is an alarming situation on our western and eastern frontiers in which the security threat and the required response mechanism are being enhanced, we are sure that we will control the situation and complete the electoral process at the same time,” Kakar told the Voice of America (Urdu).
Pakistan is bordered by India to the east and Iran to the west.
On former prime minister Imran Khan's legal cases, Kakar strongly rebutted the impression that efforts are being made to keep him out of politics.
He said it was a sub-judice matter as there were allegations against him.
“If this is the perception which is going forward (about Imran's attempted exclusion from politics) then I don't think it is correct," Kakar said.