Minister says elections on time despite terror attempts

  • Ali Zafar says terrorists trying to derail democracy, to stop polls by creating fear, disunity among people
  • ‘Former PM Nawaz Sharif to get facilities in jail to file appeals and engage his lawyers’

MURREE: Caretaker Minister for Information and Broadcasting Barrister Syed Ali Zafar on Saturday said that the elections would be held on time despite terrorist attempts to delay the polls as the nation was united and resolute to defeat the nefarious designs of the enemies.

Speaking at a book fair organised by the National Book Foundation at the Lawrence College here in Ghora Gali, he said that the terrorist incidents in Peshawar, Bannu and Mustung had saddened the nation. One minute silence was observed on the occasion to honour those who were martyred in the terror incidents.

The minister said that the terrorists were attempting to stop the elections by creating fear, anxiety and disunity among the people and they were trying to derail democracy. Enemies of Pakistan do not want that election should be held but the nation was resolute and in the past too it moved with resolution and unity, he added.

He said that the need of the hour was that the federal and the provincial governments and law enforcement agencies and institutions should fight the terrorists together. “The incidents are the last desperate attempts of our enemies. Their only aim is to postpone the elections. As the nation did in the past, it will not let the terrorists succeed in their nefarious designs.”

TARGETED POLITICAL PARTIES: Ali Zafar said that all the institutions including the securities agencies were battling the terrorists who had been successfully defeated in the past as well. He said that the political forces, which were being targeted, had to contest the elections so they should follow the code of conduct and share information about the public meetings and arrangements with the administration to avoid untoward incidents.

The minister said that the climate change had severely affected the environment of Murree. He underlined the need to promote the culture of tolerance and civilized behaviour. He said that it was better to spend life among intellectuals and learn from them or otherwise spend time with books to reach the height of humanity.

Ali Zafar quoted Anna Quindlen as saying: “In books, I have travelled not only to the other world but into my own.” Books were the most potent tools to build personalities of the students, he said, adding that national poet Allama Muhammad Iqbal also emphasised on the importance of self-journey.

He said that the Lawrence College produced great personalities, who played an important role in the national life. Talking to media, he said that former prime minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Mariyum Nawaz Sharif came for arrest and the National Accountability Bureau also wanted to arrest them so it all happened in a normal way.

To a question, he said that Nawaz Sharif would get the facilities to file appeals and engage his lawyers. He said that Nawaz Sharif would get facilities in the jail, according to the jail manual of the provincial government of Punjab.