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ISLAMABAD: President Dr Arif Alvi on Tuesday rejected speculations about delay in elections and said he strongly believed that polls would be held on time.

The president, talking to a delegation of the Council of Pakistan Newspapers Editors (CPNE) led by its President Kazam Khan, said that timely elections would pave the way for improving the political and economic situation of the country.

He emphasised the need for upholding the Constitution as the country's history had proven that the delay in elections had harmed democracy.

Referring to his meeting with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Haji Ghulam Ali earlier in the day, the president said the KP governor was a democratic person and he had encouraged him to fix a date for elections in accordance with the Constitution and the order of the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

He said he had been playing his constitutional role and his decisions had also been affirmed by the apex court.

President Alvi said he had been playing his role to reduce differences and promote reconciliation among the political parties. He was willing to meet any person or political party for the sake of the country, he added.

The president remarked that he had also asked the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leadership to negotiate with other political parties.

He also mentioned that he had good working relations with the government.

Talking about the prevailing economic situation of the country, President Alvi said he was of the firm opinion that Pakistan would not default as better and effective financial management could help overcome the economic difficulties.

He said he was against corruption as it had badly damaged and that was why he returned the National Accountability Bureau Amendment Bill to the parliament.

He regretted that delayed decision-making, violation of merit, nepotism, and corruption had caused immense damage to Pakistan.

He urged the media to educate the people by providing truthful and responsible analyses and opinions.

He stated that despite the rise of new media, print media was still playing a vital role in shaping people’s opinions and informing them about important issues.

The president emphasised the need for upholding the freedom of speech in Pakistan.

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