PM says it is ECP’s prime mandate to give election date

Anwaarul Haq Kakar says judiciary, LEAs to decide whether Nawaz be put behind bars or allowed freedom of movement on his return to Pakistan

GILGIT/ ISLAMABAD  -  Caretaker Prime Minister An­waarul Haq Kakar Wednes­day emphatically stated that a handful of elements will not be allowed to hold hostage the law and order situation of Gil­git-Baltistan.

Talking to the media per­sons in Gilgit after inaugurat­ing OPD services at Cardiac hospital, he said responsibility rests with the state to enforce the respect of rights, assuring it will be done so at all costs.

He said nobody will be al­lowed to disturb the brother­hood in our society, values and culture. He said if there are differences because of some misperceptions, these will be removed through wisdom.

Responding to a question, the prime minister said there is no room for any foreign in­telligence agency in the region, assuring that our national in­stitutions will take the matters towards improvement.

The prime minister said it is the diversity and scenic beauty of Gilgit-Baltistan that attracts tourists not only from within Pa­kistan but also Europe and Asia.

Anwaarul Haq Kakar said ne­gotiations have been held with the Governor, the Chief Minister and other stakeholders about the constitutional matters of the region. He mentioned that they are working towards find­ing constitutional solutions to questions related to the region’s identity. He said it will be our effort to help the people of Gil­git-Baltistan stand on their own feet and live a dignified life. He said they are striving to harness the economic potential of the re­gion in various sectors, includ­ing tourism, mining and miner­als, and power generation, by implementing long-term poli­cies. He said improving road in­frastructure in the region is also amongst our priorities.

Earlier the prime minister was briefed about the Cardi­ac Hospital Gilgit. The Prime Minister was informed that at present OPD facilities are being opened at the hospital. He said the cardiac hospital will be ful­ly operational by June next year.

‘Electricity production in GB’

Caretaker Prime Minister An­waarul Haq Kakar also directed authorities concerned to formu­late a policy related to the pro­duction of electricity at local level in collaboration with pri­vate sector in Gilgit- Baltistan.

He gave these directions during a meeting with the del­egation of political leadership and elders in Hunza on Wednes­day. He assured the delegation to address the issue of electric­ity in Gilgit-Baltistan as soon as possible. On this occasion, the Prime Minister was apprised the matters related with the supply and demand of electrici­ty in Hunza and provision of ad­ditional seats in Gilgit-Baltistan Assembly in proportion with the population of Hunza.

Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar also or­dered to rehabilitate and up­grade the communication sys­tem of Gilgit- Baltistan. The delegation demanded to estab­lish air corridors to connect the different parts of Gilgit-Baltis­tan with rest of the country.

The Premier directed the Gil­git Baltistan Chief Secretary to utilize all available resources to address the problems of the re­gion. Meanwhile, caretaker PM Kakar said that the law enforce­ment agencies (LEAs) will de­cide about the arrest of PLM-N leader Nawaz Sharif in light of the law upon his return to Pa­kistan. During an interview on a TV talk show, the premier was asked whether the PML-N su­premo would be handcuffed or not on his return. PM Kakar said: “The law enforcement agencies (LEAs) will decide this matter in light of the law. If they think he (Nawaz) should be chained then they will adopt that path and vice versa.” He said this was the discretion that the leadership of LEAs exercised, adding that he hoped “they do it to the best of their ability”.

When asked about growing apprehensions about a likely scenario of Nawaz being arrest­ed upon his return, the prime minister said he was not taking the matter as a “challenge” for himself since he could not de­cide the issue of the PML-N su­premo being behind bars or be­ing free to move according to own wishes.

“I reiterate that the leadership of legal and law enforcement agencies is present. Whatever they decide, whether they send him (Nawaz) behind bars or al­low freedom of movement, it will be the decision of the lead­ership of the judicial process and law enforcement.”

On Wednesday’s development of President Dr Arif Alvi sending a letter to Chief Election Com­missioner Sikandar Sultan Raja proposing that elections be held by November 6, Kakar said the “prime mandate” for giving the election date lay with the ECP. 

“The president has suggested a date. They (ECP) will do their due diligence and deliberations on it and the required condi­tions to conduct free and fair polls. I think the ECP will soon announce [the date] after com­ing to a conclusion on what will be the appropriate day and date [for elections].”

He added that realistically, if the delimitation process pro­ceeded smoothly then any day could be chosen as the elec­tion date between the mid­dle and end of January. Kakar said the caretaker government was “completely ready” to sup­port the electoral process, add­ing that the interim set-up’s role was to assess the process and “our preparation is more or less almost complete.”

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