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Caretaker PM reiterates commitment to countering security threats in run-up to polls

Caretaker PM reiterates commitment to countering security threats in run-up to polls


Caretaker PM reiterates commitment to countering security threats in run-up to polls

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(Web Desk) – Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar on Wednesday reiterated the interim government’s commitment to addressing security challenges in the run-up to elections, saying they were focused on countering the threats of terrorism with effective measures.

When asked to comment on recent statements by JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman and others expressing concerns about lawlessness in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan provinces, the prime minister in an interview with a private news channel said that basically, they were showing readiness for the elections, but they also shared their concerns regarding security issues.

Kakar said the armed forces and other law enforcement personnel were making sacrifices in the ongoing fight against terrorism.

When asked about the provision of security and the deployment of armed forces in the upcoming general elections, he explained that they would deliberate on such requests after receiving input and assessments from relevant departments.

The caretaker PM further commented that the police force faced challenges in terms of capacity and resources, even though they had performed well, especially the KP police, which played a leading role in countering terrorism. However, the police force still had certain limitations in addressing terrorism threats.

To a question, Kakar said that before assuming the office, he had held meetings with the different political leaders. He said after completing his tenure as the caretaker prime minister, he would mull to join a political party if requested for.

Replying to another question regarding certain political figures appearing on television screens and announcing their political affiliations, the prime minister said those individuals had their own decisions and he could not give his opinion over their decisions.

Regarding PTI’s claims over denial of political activities, the PM said if any specific complaint was moved before him, he would take it up.

“Those who had not been involved in the May 9 riots, there was no bar on their political and electoral participation,” he said, adding that the interim set up would ensure that there should be no injustice.

PM Kakar, in reply to a query, said that he was also learning from the politicians as it was good to learn from one’s own and others mistakes.

The PM noted that Pakistan was grappling with governance challenges, including issues with tax collection, as the entire narrative revolved around it. He added that there might be a serious discussion about the efficiency of the social delivery system, ensuring education, health and job opportunities.

He also spoke about huge losses in the power sector affecting the national economy.

The prime minister said that when compared with the rest of the region, Pakistan had the minimum defence budget in which it was ensuring its security.

To a question, he maintained that a sub-committee of the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) was only giving recommendations over tax reforms. He said that military had a facilitation role in the SIFC and it was only addressing the issues where the investment was being hindered.

While an entire relevant team and authorities from the ministries concerned were coordinating and cooperating and sorting out the issues, Kakar said, adding the SIFC was a product of parliament backed by statutory rules.

Regarding his recent visits to friendly countries and the prospects for investments, the prime minister stated that they had signed 10 MoUs with China and other multi-billion-dollar MoUs with the UAE and Kuwait, attracting significant investment.

He said the country’s economy was showing positive trends, highlighting that Barrack Gold investment in Reko Diq had changed the investment scenario adding to the confidence of the foreign investors.

There was a conducive environment and the foreign investors were viewing Pakistan from the regional spectrum, he added.

About a question regarding the 18th Amendment, PM Kakar said if any politician had a viewpoint he or she could express it and if there were any shortcomings, in his view, they could address them in parliament.

“No one should feel offended with certain viewpoints as a constructive discourse can be held and parliament was the forum for legislation,” he opined.

Kakar also termed the introduction of the 18th Amendment as landmark achievement of the former PPP government.

Responding to Bilawal’s recent statements regarding ageing politicians, the prime minister observed that age was not the basis for politics and referred to President Putin, President Xi, Prime Minister Modi, President Biden and the Italian prime minister, who were in the old age brackets, whereas few people could perform well in the younger ages.

The caretaker PM also commended performance of Bilawal Bhutto Zardari as the country’s former foreign minister.

To a query regarding claims of Aafia Siddiqui’s lawyer, the prime minister said that he learnt from his media statements which was painful. He said that he had asked the Foreign Office to take up the issue as she was their citizen and her rights in the prison could not be disrespected.

Concerning the repatriation of illegal aliens, the caretaker PM emphasised that they had hosted Afghan refugees for the past five decades. He clarified that they were not taking action against registered refugees; only undocumented aliens were being repatriated.

He added that they could return through regulated movement with valid documents.