- Information minister says govt has nothing to do with who would win or lose election or which party would emerge successfully
ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Barrister Syed Ali Zafar has said that the caretaker government is completely impartial and it has nothing to do with who would win or lose the election or which political party would emerge successfully.
“Our country’s fate and progress are in hands of the people who would have the opportunity to cast their vote thoughtfully and without any fear,” he while speaking at the inauguration of the Election City 2018 of the Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation (PBC) here.
The minister expressed the hope that people all across the country would exercise their right to vote freely and without any fear. He said that all the stakeholders including the parliament and the Election Commission played their role for a transparent and impartial election.
In the past, he said that results from the presiding officers were sent with delay which created doubts but now the method was completely changed. He said that the Election Commission had prepared software through which results from the returning officers would be received directly and through a link would also be received by the state-run television, he said.
Ali Zafar said that if there would be any interruption at any time in the software of the Election Commission then hard copy could be acquired from the returning officer. He said that the Radio Pakistan was a prized possession of Pakistan and it was not only listened in far-flung areas but also across the border.
It was the only media outlet which reached 80 percent areas of the country and 95 percent of the total population. He appreciated that the Radio Pakistan had hundreds of thousands of followers on social media platforms and the number was increasing with every passing day. He congratulated the radio management for setting up the Election City.
To a question, he said that the candidates fully participated in the election campaign and strengthened democracy and now people had to decide who would win or lose. To another question, he said that Pakistan was fighting the war against terrorism for a long time and success was achieved to a large extent.
He said that the anti-state elements wanted to delay or sabotage the elections. He said that the aim of the recent terror incidents was to harm democracy but the nation remained united and political activities continued normally in the country. He said that the caretaker government would arrange for foolproof security for the election on July 25.
Ali Zafar said that 450,000 police personnel and more than 300,000 army soldiers were deployed. He said that never before such a large number of security personnel were put on duty. To a question, he said that security would be tight due to safety concerns and the close circuit television cameras (CCTV) would be installed at sensitive polling stations so that the whole process could be kept transparent and clear.
He said that the credit for transparent election went to the Election Commission and the last parliament which enacted the Election Act 2017. He said that the present Election Commission was far more powerful than the previous election bodies. To a question, he said that after the election of 2013, 55 different complaints were received from observers as well as from media and civil society.
He said that the last parliament worked for three years and enacted a comprehensive Election Act so that previous complaints should not arise. He said that after the detailed code of conduct and SOPs of the Election Commission, the election process had been improved so that there were no complaints.
Radio Pakistan Director General Shafqat Jalil and senior officials were present on the occasion. On the occasion, Shafqat Jalil assured that according to the policy of the caretaker government, timely and certified election results would be delivered to the people. During the special transmission of the Election City, he said that the people would listen to the analysis and reports of experts.
If people would have any complaint in any constituency, they could approach the regional offices or headquarters of the Election Commission. Earlier, the information minister visited current affairs section, newsroom, FM 92 Dhanak, desk for translation of the regional languages and web desk of the Radio Pakistan.