Saturday Jul 21, 2018
ISLAMABAD: Former Senate chairman Mian Raza Rabbani on Saturday slammed the caretaker government and the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), questioning their purported intentions ahead of the upcoming general elections.
Addressing a Senate session earlier today, Rabbani declared the interim government to be “partial” and claimed the National Accountability Bureau was being used to advance certain political agendas during the electoral process.
He lamented that two major political parties were being targetted, and raised doubts over the transparency of the upcoming polls.
“How can these elections be called free, fair and transparent?” he questioned, adding that the ECP’s silence on the matter was criminal.
Rabbani also questioned the ECP’s role in allowing certain members of banned outfits to contest the polls.
“Did the ECP [summon] details of contestants [belonging to] banned outfits? Did it ask for records of those candidates who have cases registered against them?” he questioned.
“Under which section of the law and Constitution are [these individuals] being allowed to contest the elections,” he asked, holding the ECP answerable.
Several concerns were also raised by Opposition leader in the Senate Sherry Rehman, who questioned whose orders would be followed at the polling stations on July 25.
Information Minister Barrister Ali Zafar informed the Senate that the caretaker government and ECP are striving to ensure peaceful conduct of general elections.
Winding up discussion on the motion regarding law and order and political situation in the Senate today, the information minister said the political parties and other segments of the society should support the caretaker government and the ECP in this endeavour.
He said the nation should stand united at this juncture and foil the sordid designs of anti-state savage elements who want to create a wedge in the society.
The minister further said that the Elections Act 2017 has empowered the Election Commission to hold the elections in a free, fair and transparent manner. The problems faced in the last general elections were eradicated in the act, he added.