All set to hold free, fair elections on Thursday: Info Minister

Minister for Information and Broadcasting Murtaza Solangi says all is set to hold free, fair and transparent elections on Thursday.

Addressing a news conference in Islamabad today, he said the caretaker government has been consistent from the day one that elections would be held on the date given by the Election Commission of Pakistan.

He said more than ample resources have been provided to ensure free and fair election on Thursday.

The Information Minster said the government has made foolproof security arrangements on the polling day for the voters at the polling stations.

He said police will responsible for providing security as the first tier,  while the Civil Armed Forces would be there as the second tier and Armed Forces of Pakistan would assist in the peaceful conduct of polling as the Quick Reaction Force in third tier.

Murtaza Solangi said Pakistan has become the fifth largest democracy in the world as we enter electoral process.

He said a total of more than 128 million voters including over 50.9 million women voters will exercise their right to vote for 266 general seats of the National Assembly.

He said the elections are also being held to elect representatives for the four provincial assemblies.

He said ninety-two international observes would also cover the election process in the country.

Replying to a question about allegations of PTI founder, the Information Minister said we are a free country and they have every right to criticize anything including the caretaker government and the courts.

He said media is free, and they have been venting their descent and have every right to criticize any judgment of the court. He said as far as verdict of courts are concerned, the caretaker government has no comment about those verdicts and we do not control the courts.

The Information Minister said the allegations levelled by PTI are absurd and baseless. The arrests were made with the connection of 9th May case and other criminal linked cases. They are free to express their dissent and at the same time they have other legal options available including higher courts.

Replying a question, the Information Minister said terrorism and law and order is not new for our country. This is decades old thing. After the fall of Kabul when Taliban took over, terrorist activities increased drastically and different factions of terrorists, hiding in safe sanctuaries in Afghanistan.

He categorically stated that Armed Forces are battle hardened and we will ensure that elections are held in peaceful environment.

Answering yet another question, Murtaza Solangi said the caretaker government took a number of steps to improve economy of the country and signed agreements through Special Investment Facilitation Council.

He said the objective of the SIFC is to encourage the investors to invest in the country.

Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Mumtaz Zahra Baloch, Executive Director-General External Publicity Wing Ambreen Jan, representatives of the Interior Ministry and Election Commission of Pakistan were also present in the press conference.