- Commission reminds caretaker prime minister that courts have not yet found the PTI leader guilty
The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) on Monday strongly objected to caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar’s statement saying that “fair elections” could be held even without Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan and other jailed party workers.
In a statement released today, the HRCP reminded the interim prime minister that in the cases against Imran and his party leaders, the courts had not yet found them guilty.
“Mr Kakar’s claims are anti-democratic and ill-judged,” it stated.
Imran is currently being held on judicial remand in the cipher case after being initially imprisoned for “corrupt practices” in the Toshakhana case.
“The prime minister should be aware that it is not for him or his government to decide unilaterally what constitutes a ‘fair’ election,” the commission highlighted.
In a statement on Sunday, Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar said “fair“ elections were possible without PTI Chairman Imran Khan. However, the premier also stated that thousands of PTI members who were not involved in “unlawful activities” will run the political process and participate in elections.
His statement comes days after the Election Commission of Pakistan finally announced that polls in the country would be held in January next year. Major political parties in the country have now begun preparations for elections.
In an interview with the Associated Press over the weekend, PM Kakar dismissed the possibility of the military establishment manipulating the election results to ensure the PTI doesn’t win as “absolutely absurd”.
Meanwhile, in a statement issued, the PTI said any elections without Imran would be “unacceptable, unlawful and unconstitutional”.
“The caretaker prime minister’s statement is a manifestation of the insensitivity found in the state structure regarding the Constitution, democracy and national interests,” it stated, noting that the PTI was the “largest” political party of Pakistan and Imran was Pakistan’s most popular leader.
“The PM should know that any election conducted without the involvement of Imran Khan or PTI will be unconstitutional, illegal, and immoral which the people will never accept,” it said.
The party further demanded that PM Kakar would provide an explanation for his statement immediately and “dissociate his government from the heinous plans of integration and segregation”.