Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar on Monday reiterated that the caretaker set-up had provided a level playing field to all political parties during the currently concluded polls and being a ‘free and fair’ process, a large number of independent candidates backed by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf emerged as the largest single group on the national and provincial assemblies seats.
He stressed that allegations of rigging were generated through social media which were based upon misconceptions and contrary to the ground realities, and said that throughout the country’s democratic history, people had always questioned the electoral process.
Such results indicated the transparency and non-interference by any quarters, he emphasised.
Addressing a presser at the PM House, the prime minister said that there might be shortcomings or other minor issues, but by and large, the elections were held in a manner in which the entire nation and the law enforcement agencies deserved kudos despite various security challenges.
“Where the PTI has public support, it got that and they have results never dreamt of during 2018,” he said, adding that the loyalists of jailed PTI leaders were emerged as returned candidates in the general elections but no one was appreciating that aspect of the neutrality of the caretaker government.
The prime minister, to a question, said that despite various threats prior to the February 8 election day and two terrorist attacks in the Balochistan province, all the stakeholders deserved appreciation over the ‘big achievement’ for peaceful conduct of the polls.
He also brushed aside any threats to integrity of the country due to certain protests and agitations held by certain parties, saying “it is an absurd chronology” to relate the situation with Dhaka during 1971.
“These are the mere rhetoric. Pakistan is a very stable and responsible country. Holding of a peaceful protest is the democratic right of the people,” he said, however, hastened to add that no government could allow the situation leading to chaos or anarchy.
Responding to a query, he maintained that over 60 million voters had exercised their constitutional right to elect their favourite candidates under ‘a pressure free environment’.
The prime minister said that the delay in the announcement of official results were caused by the specific procedures regarding compiling of results at 92,000 polling stations and credited the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for conducting the massive exercise in a smooth manner.
He said that the official results were announced within 36 hours while during the 2018 elections, it took almost 66 hours. There might be irregularities but the relevant forums were available to address those grievances.