Interim minister rules out delay in general election

  • Ali Zafar says free, fair and transparent elections will be held as per schedule

LAHORE: Caretaker Minister for Information and Law Barrister Ali Zafar has ruled out delay in the upcoming general elections, saying that free, fair and transparent polls would be held as per schedule.

Talking to media after distributing cheques among various bar councils and associations at the Lahore High Court Bar on Tuesday, Barrister Ali Zafar assured that all-out efforts were being made for holding elections on time and there was no chance of a delay.

He said that the FATA merger was a historical decision and now same fundamental laws would be applicable in the area being enjoyed by rest of the citizens of the country.

Barrister Ali Zafar said that at present, there were no courts and other administrative facilities in the area. He added that the interim government had formed an implementation committee besides various sub-committees to expedite the process of FATA’s merger with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP).

To a question about elections of the provincial assembly in FATA, the minister said that the elections would be held within one year as provided in the constitution. The matter was also being reviewed by the Supreme Court of Pakistan, he added.

To another question about providing the facility of casting votes to overseas Pakistanis, he said that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) was empowered to take steps, adding that steps should be taken for the purpose and modern technology could also be used in this regard.

Responding to a question about Kalabagh Dam’s construction, Ali Zafar said that Pakistan ranked top among the countries which wasted water.

He went on to say that Kalabagh Dam should be constructed in his personal opinion but it could not be done without the consensus of all the provinces. He added that other dams and reservoirs should also be constructed beside focusing on Kalabagh Dam.

The minister said that he also met with WAPDA chairman. The dams could not be constructed due to the negligence of previous governments, he added.

He also said that the caretaker government would take all possible steps for the purpose and also made recommendations to the next government.

To a question about load-shedding, he said that there was dire need of enhancing power transmission capacity besides generation. Besides traditional means, we must also develop electricity from solar, wind and other resources but it could not be done at once, he added.

He maintained that law would be followed in Ishaq Dar’s case while replying to a question about the issuance of red warrants for him.

Earlier, while addressing a gathering of lawyers at Javed Iqbal Auditorium of the LHC Bar, Barrister Ali Zafar said that he was a representative of the lawyers’ community in the interim government and all possible steps would be taken for their welfare.

He said that the bars could not function independently if they did not have sufficient funds. He added that the interim government was aware of its responsibility and it had given aid to 150-200 bars so far.

The information minister further said that all legal documents and transactions should be carried out through lawyers and legislation should also be done for the purpose. He said that the step would not only create opportunities for the lawyers but also be helpful to the masses.

He also distributed cheques among representatives of various bar associations at this occasion.