ECP to be extended all possible assistance to hold elections

Caretaker Prime Minister, Justice (Retd) Mir Hazar Khan Khoso on Monday said his government is cognizant of importance of elections and would extend all possible assistance to Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to conduct them in free and fair manner.

He was talking to Michael Gahler, a German Member of European Parliament and Chief of European Election Observer Mission to Pakistan, who called on him along with his delegation here.

Michael Gahler is presently on a visit to Pakistan in connection with upcoming elections.

Prime Minister Khoso said the Caretaker set up has been geared up with the sole purpose of ensuring free, fair and transparent elections in the country.

“We will extend all assistance to ECP headed by a distinguished jurist who was appointed with consensus and mandated to supervise holding of general elections in the country,” said the Prime Minister.

He said all political parties and candidates of different persuasions are contesting the elections and there is a great enthusiasm among the people of Pakistan. In this regard, he credited media for creating awareness among people which he termed as a healthy development.

Welcoming the European Union Observer Mission, the Prime Minister said it is for the first time in history of Pakistan that a transition will take place from one civilian democratic government to another.

Mr. Gahler informed the Prime Minister it is for the second time that he is heading the European Union Observer Mission in Pakistan. The last time he came to Pakistan was in connection with general election held in 2008.

He thanked the government of Pakistan for inviting European Union Observers to monitor the forthcoming elections and said that Pakistan was more open in comparison to other countries.

Mr. Gahler appreciated the cooperation extended by the government to the Observers and said that the EU Mission has good relations and working relationship with the government.

The Mission will also hold meetings with officials of Ministry of Interior and the ECP in days to come.

The meeting was attended by Mr. Lars Wigemark, EU Ambassador and Ms. Hannah Roberts, Deputy Chief of the EU Election Observer Mission.

Senior officials of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Interior, Election Commission and Prime Minister’s Secretariat were also present during the meeting.