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Print Print 2024-02-04

Arrangements for polls finalised: minister

  • Murtaza Solangi says full security arrangements have been made at the polling stations and the government will ensure peaceful and transparent elections on February 8
Published February 4, 2024

ISLAMABAD: The Federal Minister of Information, Broadcasting, and Parliamentary Affairs, Murtaza Solangi, said on Saturday that all arrangements had been finalized for conducting peaceful, fair, free, and transparent elections in Pakistan on February 8.

Briefing foreign observers and media persons in Pakistan to monitor and cover the February 8 elections, he said that in Pakistan, which is now the fifth largest democracy in the world, elections are only four days away.

Flanked by officials of the Foreign Office, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, the Ministry of Interior, and the Election Commission of Pakistan, he said that now Pakistan is the fifth largest democracy in the world.

He said that elections were being held for the National Assembly (NA) of Pakistan and the provincial assemblies of four provinces, including Sindh, Punjab, Balochistan, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP).

ECP establishes 90,675 polling stations for February 8 elections

He said that some elements had been spreading rumours in the recent past about the elections, citing the severity of the weather, the law and order situation, or some other issues.

“Full security arrangements have been made at the polling stations, and the government will ensure peaceful and transparent elections on February 8,” he added.

“Police would be in the first tier, Rangers and Frontier Constabulary would perform duty in the second tier, while the third tier of security would be with the Pakistan Army as a quick response force.”

He said media in Pakistan enjoyed full freedom and everyone had the right to express opinion and criticize the government.

The minister said that the total number of voters in Pakistan was 12,85,85,760, out of which 69263704 were male voters and 5,93,22,056 were female voters. To a question, he said that law and order and terrorism were not new issues in Pakistan, as it has been battling the scourge of terrorism for the past few decades. He recalled that the 2008 and 2013 elections were conducted under the shadow of security threats.

He said, “Since 2021, with the change of guard in Kabul, terrorist groups of various hues and colours having safe sanctuaries in a neighbouring country have become more active. He said that Pakistan was taking action against terrorists and that peaceful elections would be ensured at all costs.” “Our battle-hardened security forces are fully prepared for the elections,” Murtaza Solangi maintained.

Responding to a question, he said that the economic initiatives taken during the caretaker government were in the background of the Special Investment Facilitation Council to attract investment. He said that various economic agreements have been signed with friendly countries under the SIFC.

The minister said that the caretaker government took important steps to improve the economy. He said when the caretakers came to power in August last year, the dollar was not available in the open market for even 350 to 400 rupees, but due to steps taken by the present dispensation, now the rupee is stabilized and the economy is in a far better position.

He said, “92 international observers from different countries will cover the elections. He said that observers belonged to the European Union, Commonwealth, Russian Federation, Japan, South Africa, Malaysia, Zimbabwe, the Netherlands, Hungary, Sweden, Azerbaijan, and Germany.”

In response to a question about the allegations of victimization of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leaders and party workers, he said that these allegations were baseless and absurd.

Solangi said that some PTI activists were arrested, but they were detained in connection with their involvement in May 9 incidents or other criminal acts.

The minister said the PTI leadership was free to criticize the government and the court’s verdicts.

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