General elections to be held despite security threats at borders, says PM

Anwaarul Haq Kakar says Pakistan reserves the right to defend against terrorism coming from Afghanistan

Reaffirms Pakistan’s commitment to continue to raise Kashmir dispute at every world forum.

ISLAMABAD  -  Caretaker Prime Minister An­waarul Haq Kakar Saturday reaffirmed Pakistan’s com­mitment to continue to raise Jammu and Kashmir dispute at all the global and regional forums. In an interview with Voice of America, he pointed out that this dispute is one of the oldest agenda items of the UN Security Council.

The prime minister said there are gross human rights violations taking place in In­dian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir. The entire area has been turned into the larg­est prison in the world, while Kashmiris’ voices are stifled.

He said Pakistan has been consistently and regularly de­fending and advocating the Kashmir issue at all the avail­able multilateral and region­al fora. The caretaker prime minister maintained that Paki­stan is playing its part for du­rable peace in Afghanistan and the region. He said they are ad­dressing Afghan transit issues including the illegal trade. He said trade ties are improving not only with Afghanistan but also with all the Central Asian Republics as they all realized the significance of regional trade connectivity.

To a question regarding ter­rorist attacks from Afghan soil, he said Pakistan reserves the right to defend against any ter­rorist activity and would take necessary steps to defend its people and land whenever needed. The prime minister said Pakistan enjoys strong re­lations with the Arab, Gulf and other regional countries. He expressed the optimism that the relationship with the West would grow further in the coming years.

Responding to a question, the caretaker prime minister said it is mandate of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to announce a date for hold­ing of general elections in the country. He reiterated that the interim government is ready to assist the ECP regarding provi­sion of financial resources and security for the polls.

The prime minister also ex­pressed the confidence to over­come security threats at the country’s borders and com­plete the electoral process. He said measures would be taken to ensure that the election pro­cess proceeds smoothly with­out disruptions and empha­sized upon the commitment to upholding the democratic pro­cess in Pakistan.

To another question, the prime minister said there is freedom of expression in the country and our indicators in the region are much better in this regard.

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