Tuesday, November 28, 2023

PPP, PML-N enjoy same freedom ahead of election: information minister

Govt reaffirms resolve to assist ECP in conducting "free and fair" election


Different political parties’ flags and banners hanging on wires at a road in Lahore, on July 2, 2023. — APP
Different political parties’ flags and banners hanging on wires at a road in Lahore, on July 2, 2023. — APP
  • Govt vows to fulfil its responsibility to help ECP conduct polls. 
  • Minister refuses to comment on Zardari-Bilawal saga. 
  • All political parties enjoying equal freedom, claims minister.  

ISLAMABAD: Brushing aside allegations levelled against the caretaker government in connection with “unequal opportunities” to the political parties for electioneering, caretaker Minister for Information Murtaza Solangi claimed Tuesday that all the political parties were enjoying equal freedom.

Talking to journalists, Solangi said that the freedom that the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) had the same freedom as the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and other parties. 

“Everyone in Pakistan has the freedom to express an opinion, complain, and criticise.”

PPP and PTI have repeatedly been accusing the caretakers of giving special treatment to the PML-N in connection with the upcoming elections. The parties alleged that they are being denied a level playing field in the run-up to elections.

Responding to a question, Solangi reaffirmed the interim government’s resolve to assist the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) in conducting free, fair, and transparent general elections, slated to be held on February 8, 2024.

“Under Article 218(3) of the Constitution, the ECP will fulfil its responsibility to conduct fair, transparent and impartial elections and the government will support it.”

He said that there were a total of 280 articles in the Constitution, not only the article of elections in 90 days. The Constitution also has Article 254.

Article 254 states that when any act or thing is required by the Constitution to be done within a particular period and it is not done within that period, it won’t render the action illegal or invalid for the sole reason of tardiness.

To another question, the minister said he had a relationship of respect with PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and his father Asif Ali Zardari and he could not comment on their statements.

After Zardari called his son, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, an “inexperienced” politician, speculations were rife that there were rifts between them — and the ex-foreign minister’s departure to Dubai further fueled them.

But Hamir Mir, the journalist who interviewed Zardari in which the ex-president made several startling revelations, said that even if there was a “situation” between the father-son duo, their party was strong enough to get them resolved.

Rejecting the media reports, Bakhtawar Bhutto-Zardari Saturday asked people to not pay heed to the headlines, stressing that the family stands united.

He said that the caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar had informed the public about his visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) last night through a video message. 

During the visit of the PM, the agreements and memorandums of understanding would be finalised, then the media would be informed in that regard, he added.

It is pertinent to mention here that Pakistan and the UAE signed several MoUs worth multi-billion dollars in a range of areas to boost economic and strategic cooperation between the two countries.