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Free and fair elections possible in country without Imran Khan: Pakistan

  • International
  • Lead News
  • 25 September, 2023 15:04:06

Photo: Collected

International Desk: Free and fair elections are possible in the country without Imran Khan, former Prime Minister of Pakistan and chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e Insaaf (PTI). Caretaker Prime Minister of Pakistan Anwar-ul-Haq Kakar made this claim. Elections are approaching in Pakistan and he made this comment in the meantime. On the other hand, Imran is currently serving a three-year sentence in Attock Jail in a corruption case.

Pakistani media The News International reported this information in a report on Monday (September 25). A Pakistani caretaker government took over in mid-August last year. And the country's Election Commission (ECP) announced last week that general elections will be held in Pakistan at the end of January 2024. In this situation, in an interview with The Associated Press, Kakar said: 'There can be free and fair elections for (Imran) Khan or his party.

Apart from hundreds of members, who are in jail. Because they indulged in illegal activities including vandalism and arson. Imran Khan was dramatically arrested from the premises of Islamabad High Court on May 9 in a corruption case. His arrest caused serious unrest in the nuclear-armed country. The unrest that began in Pakistan following the arrest of paramilitary Rangers Imran Khan continued for four days and resulted in the deaths of at least 10 protesters and the destruction of many military and state installations.

Also, for the first time in Pakistan's history, protesters broke barricades and entered the country's Army Headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi and set fire to the Corps Commander's house in Lahore. Later, the military termed May 9 as 'Black Day' and decided to prosecute the protestors under army law. Later, after the intervention of the Supreme Court, Imran was released from jail, but his party, PTI, came under heavy repression.

Hundreds of PTI activists and senior leaders were jailed for their alleged involvement in violence and attacks on military installations. In reply to a question, Kakar said that PTI workers who are in jail were involved in arson, vandalism and other illegal activities. In his words, 'Thousands of PTI workers, who were not involved in illegal activities, may participate in the upcoming elections.' : 'I think it is absolutely absurd. He claimed that the ECP will conduct the elections, not the military.

There is also a caretaker government to monitor and support the electoral process. Stating that the present Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja was appointed by Imran Khan, Kakar said, "Why would he turn against him in any sense?" In response to another question, the caretaker prime minister of Pakistan said, "We are not chasing anyone for personal vendetta." He, however, warned that if the PTI chairman or any other politician violates the rules, action will be taken against them according to law.

Kakar also said that he will not interfere with the court's verdict. He even commented that the judiciary should not be used as a tool for any political purpose. Meanwhile, Imran's party PTI reacted strongly to the caretaker prime minister's statement about the upcoming general elections.

A spokesman for Pakistan's former ruling party said: 'General elections without PTI or Imran Khan will be unconstitutional and immoral. This spokesman of Imran's party claimed that PTI is the largest political party in Pakistan and Imran Khan is the most popular leader of the country. The PTI spokesperson also warned that the people will not accept any election excluding Imran.

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