Elections to be held by May 10 | Pakistan Today

Elections to be held by May 10

Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira on Wednesday said the interim governmental set up would take over around March 18, 2013 following the completion of the five-year term of the government, while general elections would be held 40 days after the caretaker set up took over.
Talking to reporters after a meeting of the federal cabinet, Kaira said there was a baseless propaganda making rounds about delay in election.
“There is a free media and independent judiciary which will never allow this (delay). Moreover, the government and parliament duly get the credit for completion of terms of the assemblies and a democratic transition of power will take place and by delaying the elections, all credit will become a discredit,” he said.
The minister said the government would investigate the role of people like Hameed Gul in line with the Supreme Court’s order in the Asghar Khan case.
“This order has proved that the government installed after the 1990 election was illegitimate and its decisions need validation. A serious debate is on over the legitimacy of the then government and the issue should be resolved.”
The information minister claimed that history had revealed that mandates of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) had been stolen. “At times direct martial laws were imposed and indirect martial laws were imposed at other times through alliances like Islami Jamhoori Ittehad (IJI).”
He said that several past presidents, like Rafique Tarar, worked against the PPP. “Tarrar should be asked about the service for which he was awarded the office of the president. What was the reason behind issuance of licence to launch a new bank to Younus Habib in 1992,” he argued.
Referring to the release of tapes involving Justice Quyyum and Nawaz Sharif’s crony Saifur Rehman, Kaira said it was strange that the judge had to resign but the then chief minister, who happened to be the present chief minister of Punjab, did not face any punishment.
He said the PML-N government was illegal in the past and even the Punjab government had no majority in the provincial assembly and was being saved by crutches of turncoats from the PML-Q.
Kaira said that after the 1990 elections, Benazir Bhutto had issued a white paper about an alleged election fraud and rigging in 100 constituencies which was part of history.
To a question, Kaira said when the PPP-led government came to power in 2008, the economy was in tatters and there was recession in international markets, Pakistan had over 250,000 IDPs from Swat and Malakand.
“Moreover, the country was hit by devastating floods in 2010 and 2011 and in such a situation bringing the inflation down was no meagre achievement,” he said.
Kaira said the Presidency was a political office and was part of parliament. He said the president should be impartial, but there was no bar on his meetings with political leaders.
To a query on the much demanded army operation in North Waziristan, he said the government had already clarified that no such operation would be conducted. He said that if any decision was made by the political and military leadership, it would be shared with the media and the nation.
To a question about increase in public sector debt, he said in presence of Fiscal Responsibility Act, the government could not exceed the limit.
Commenting on the CNG sector, he said filling station owners had their own viewpoint which would be presented to the Supreme Court.
Cabinet decisions:
Giving details of the cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf, Kaira said the finance secretary informed the cabinet that the overall price situation had stabilised and the inflation in prices had been capped to single digit at 8.8 percent, compared to 25 percent in October 2008.
Following the policy of self dependence, the government had collected Rs 350 billion in taxes in the current year. The overall revenue collection had doubled from Rs 1 trillion to Rs 2 trillion in the last four-and-a-half years.
The government had raised salaries by 115 percent during its tenure, while the overall expenditure of the federal government had increased by only six percent, adding that the country did not default on payment of loans, both internal and external.
Kaira said the tax to GDP ratio had increased by 0.5 percent.
The cabinet was told that the subsidy on power sector was affecting the financial prudence of the federal government.
While the overall expenditure of the federal government was Rs 220 billion per annum, subsidy on power sector alone had reached the Rs 30 billion per month.
Kaira said the cabinet reviewed status of implementation of decisions pertaining to the Finance Division. The cabinet was informed that 93 percent of the decisions made by the cabinet from 2008-2012 had been implemented, while the rest were at various stages of implementation.
The cabinet was also informed that as a result of NFC Award, the provinces had been given 70 percent funds of the divisible pool, thus restraining the federal government to meet subsidies. “The country is generating power at the cost of Rs 12 per unit but providing the same to consumers at Rs 9 per unit. If the country imports gas from outside it will cost $18 per thousand cubic feet, while the same amount is being provided in the country for $6 only.”
The information minister said the prime minister apprised members of the cabinet about his recent visit to Saudi Arabia to perform Haj on the invitation of Khadum al Harman Sharifan.
The PM said that during his stay in Saudi Arabia, he met Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz and Crown Prince Salman bin Abdul Aziz.
During his meeting with the Saudi crown prince, the PM extended an invitation to him to visit Pakistan, which he graciously accepted.
“The son of the crown prince will soon visit Pakistan.
Kaira said the cabinet expressed solidarity with the Sandy storm-hit Americans, adding that several Pakistanis had also been affected by Sandy. The federal cabinet also ratified the visa agreement with India and approval was been given for three business and one cultural visa agreements.
An approval was also given for an MoU with the United States concerning financial intelligence cooperation.

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One Comment;

  1. Dipak said:

    Election not just In Pakistan, India also at the same time. Rahul and Mummy have to go back to Italy.

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