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Caretaker Prime Minister Justice ® Mir Hazar Khan Khoso on Friday said that filing of nomination papers in large numbers by the prospective candidates is an encouraging trend and a testimony of the faith that the people have in the democratic process.
In his opening remarks at the maiden federal cabinet meeting, the Prime Minister said that the first phase of filing of nomination papers has completed smoothly and the enthusiasm in the election process showed by people and the candidates is quite commendable.
He said the government has limited resources but with a will and determination, it would make a significant contribution in the furtherance of national interests in which the substance of democratic process stands out prominently.
“It is also encouraging that all political parties in Balochistan have chosen to participate in the election,” he added.
Congratulating the cabinet members on assumption of offices, the Prime Minister said that Pakistan stands at a historic juncture as for the first time in the history, a democratic dispensation completed its constitutional term.
“Now, we are moving to elect new federal and provincial governments. All the political forces, both in government as well as opposition, deserve appreciation for showing maturity to sustain the democratic process,” PM Khoso said.
He said in the selection of cabinet members, commitment to the democratic process, integrity and competence was his guiding criteria and he was happy to know that all the colleagues were well regarded and have enviable reputation in their respective fields.
The Prime Minister said keeping in view the law and order situation in the country, he had already issued instructions to the concerned ministry to coordinate with all the stakeholders to evolve contingency plans to check the possibility of any untoward incident during the election campaign and on the election day.
In this regard, he said he has also met with the Chief Ministers and stressed upon them the importance of these tasks.
Later, he urged all the cabinet members to immediately get to the task in hand, attend promptly to urgent issues pertaining to their respective ministries, especially those of immediate public interest and also asked for their valuable input on the current issues.
“We should also extend full cooperation to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and the provincial governments to ensure fairness and transparency of the electoral process,” he added.
Referring to Article 224 of the Constitution, the Prime Minister said that it provides a single-point mandate to the caretaker government which is to conduct election after dissolution of assemblies.
He further explained that this provision entails with it a conducive law and order situation in the country for the smooth and transparent conduct of the electoral process, deployment of an efficient, effective and impartial administrative machinery, handling urgent economic issues and assisting the ECP in the conduct of fair and impartial discharge of their constitutional obligation for conducting free and fair elections.
The Prime Minister said the nation is facing multiple challenges, however, he is quite confident that with the energy, zeal and experience of all the cabinet colleagues, they would come up to the expectations of nation and help realize the dream of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and the great philosopher Dr. Allama Iqbal.