Islamabad: Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf Friday reiterated commitment of the government to hold fair, free, transparent and impartial elections to further strengthen the democratic process in the country. In an interview with Pakistan Television broadcast tonight, the Prime Minister said, “Democracy has the power and it is the basic right of the people to vote according to their conscious in a fair, free and impartial atmosphere.”
The Prime Minister said the government would ensure that the masses will be given the right to elect their representatives through fair, free and impartial elections that will improve the situation in the country. He said there were reservations by the people even on the elections held in 2008 during the tenure of Musharraf but the people accepted that elections. He said the people have the power that will be reflected through fair, free and impartial elections. The Prime Minister said, “Any election, which will not be accepted by the masses, will not have the impact on the country.”
Referring to some previous elections held in Pakistan, the Prime Minister said there were many reservations on these elections but assured that the democratically elected government of Pakistan Peoples Party will ensure fair, free and impartial elections. He said some dictators even held referendum but people did not accept them as the alternative to the general elections. Replying to a question, the Prime Minister said, “Through fair, free and impartial election the people have the right to elect their future rulers and assured that the government will ensure conducive atmosphere for the forthcoming elections.
“It is priority number one for the government and for me to hold fair, free and impartial election so that no one can point finger to the government and the country will move forward,” said the Prime Minister. Regarding formation of care taker set up, the Prime Minister clarified that leader of the house and leader of opposition should reach consensus on the caretaker prime minister.He said he wants to reach consensus with leader of opposition for caretaker setup.The Prime Minister said, “As we are heading towards election and it is necessary that the parliament should complete its constitutional term.”He said if two or three assemblies would have completed their constitutional terms, democratic system had been strengthened.
The Prime Minister said, “If some one wants election two months earlier, then it can be discussed.” He however said if the parliament will complete its tenure, it will send a good message to the international community about Pakistan.”
Prime Minister Raja Ashraf on the question of his appearance in the Supreme Court on September 18 in the NRO implementation case said he wanted to resolve the issue.He said, “The solution will be according to the will of God, and I believe that there will be improvement after September 18 as we are heading towards a transitional phase of election that need a good atmosphere.He said he and even the judges want to resolve the issue in accordance with the constitution.
“I am in the office for the last two months, and it is my earnest desire, and it is the desire of all the coalition partners and now I know that even the judges want to find a solution to this problem according to the law and upholding the respect of the courts,” he added.
Replying to a question on minorities, the Prime Minister said, “We did not say them minorities as they are enjoying equal rights as Pakistani.”He said people from all religions living in Pakistan are Pakistanis and it is ensured in constitution and religion that they should be given equal rights and opportunities. He said, “Even Islam advice us to protect the people of other religions less in numbers.”
“I want to ensure that the government will provide them full protection and give them due rights as they are real Pakistanis and they have proved it,” said the Prime Minister. He said it the priority of the government to provide protection and due rights to all the people belong to different religions. He said government established interfaith harmony ministry headed by a Christian.
The Prime Minister said that it is the responsibility of every one including religious leaders and NGOs and others to give due respect and honour to every individuals belonging to any religion. Regarding killing of people in Balochistan, he said, it is target killing and agreed that there could be foreign elements involved behind such incidents and those elements are against Pakistan as it is creating differences among different groups.He said the government will take all steps to curb such incidents. He urged the society to raise voice against such incidents as the people involved in such incidents are against Pakistan and wanted to make Pakistan weaker.