President Alvi stresses upon holding of free, fair, credible elections

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ISLAMABAD, Oct 25 (APP/DNA): President Arif Alvi on Wednesday emphasized that for the future of the country, free, fair and credible elections should be held in which all the political parties be given a level-playing field to contest.

In an interview with a private Tv (Geo News) talk show, the president said different quarters were talking about ensuring level-playing field to all the political parties in the country. He said the basic norm should be the democracy and all the political leaders should be given equal opportunities to contest the upcoming elections. To a question, the president maintained that he had condemned 9th May incidents as he was always against such acts of damaged and destruction.

To another query, he said that the constitution provided that a president might continue in the office till election of his successor and as the electoral requirement could not be met in the absence of assemblies, so leaving his office in vacuum was not good for him. In the parliamentary system, changes could take place to governments, he said adding, in the past, unconstitutional elements had derailed the democratic system in the country. The president expressed that despite difficult times, the country was moving on the path to democracy and there was a path to move forward.

Appreciating former premier Benazir Bhutto, the president recollected that during 2001 when he was arrested and sent to jail, he was told by the jail authorities that contrary to dictatorship era, the environment in jails had been changed under the PPP government. He said credit should be given to the PPP as a political party that was the standard bearer of democracy and women’s rights.  The president also lauded former president Asif Ali Zardari for raising the slogan of ‘Pakistan Khappay’.

To a question, the president said the people had the confidence in the superior courts and appreciated incumbent Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Qazi Faez Isa as ‘highly respectable personality’, adding that the CJP had unified the court. The nation had great expectations from Justice Qazi Faez Isa, he said and expressed the optimism that the CJP would deliver. The president also reiterated that he had not sent reference against Justice Isa, as he had received it from the office of former prime minister who also maintained that he was not willing to send it.

Elaborating his viewpoint, the president said that the democratic system in the country was continuing but there was always a danger from a lobby that had been working to project that the democratic system in the country had failed. “There is need to unite the country. Pardoning and forbearing are the qualities that can build nations,” he added. In the religion of Islam, he said, consultation and public opinion were given due importance and with regard to the democratic system, the Islamic traditions were marvelous, he opined. About holding of elections in the country, the president said that the matter was subjudice before the courts that would decide the issue.

President Alvi termed the number of out of school children, mental health, malnutrition and stunting issues as the grave ones which could not be resolved if they continued their political wrangling. The president reiterated that two-state was the only solution to Palestine issue, adding on March 23, 1943 two resolutions were passed, one for Pakistan and other for Palestine. Pakistan pursued a policy over Palestine as pronounced by its founder Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, he maintained. Feeling immense grief over a video clip showing a Palestinian child, identifying the bodies of his parents, the president decried it as huge cruelty to the Palestinian people and stressed that no one could accept such inhuman acts.

The president said in the Islamic teachings, sanctity was accorded to a human life. To a query, he replied that on September 13, he had sent a letter to the Election Commission of Pakistan for holding of elections in the country and suggestion to consult the superior judiciary over the issue. He said that election law was changed under an amendment and signed by the acting president when he proceeded to Hajj. The president further said that the caretaker law minister and the relevant caretaker provincial ministers were of the opinion that the President had no mandate to give a date for holding of the elections in the country after the amendment.