ISLAMABAD: Caretaker Minister for Information, Broadcasting and Parliamentary Affairs Murtaza Solangi on Saturday said no country in the world gave media access to those people who were involved in serious crimes.
In an interview with a private news channel, the minister said the former chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) had been convicted and his conviction was not set aside. “He remains convicted and charged with serious crimes,” he added.
“As we speak, the PTI remains registered political parties and if people bring them in the federal and provincial assemblies the caretaker government has no problem. It s the people of Pakistan who have to make this decision,” the minister remarked.
To a query, he said all political parties were being treated equally as the state had no favorites. The state media was giving due coverage to all the political parties.
“So far, only constitutional body entrusted with holding free and fair elections is the Election Commission of Pakistan that stands committed to hold the elections on Thursday February 8, 2024,” said Solangi in response to another query.
He said the constitutional caretaker government was committed to supporting the ECP in every possible way for elections and “we will support the election commission in administrative, financial and security matters”.
Every political party was playing role of the victim, he said, adding “if you ask PTI they will say we are not getting level-playing field especially in Punjab and KPK and if you ask Peoples Party they will say we are not getting level-playing field in Punjab.”
“Likewise, if you ask PML-N they will say we are not getting level-playing field in Sindh. If you ask Maulana Fazlu Rehman of JUI they will say we are not getting level playing field in Balochistan and KPK due to security issues,” the minister noted.
He said the caretaker government had no vested interests in any political party. “We are there to provide any kind of support to the election commission which is responsible for holding the elections and creating conducive environment.”
“We should wait for the results after elections conducted on February 8. Once people speak their mind when they go to polls to elect a party or a group of party I am sure we will get political stability,” the minister said in response to another query.
He said it was written in the preamble of the constitution that the country would be run by the people s representatives through credible elections.
As regards the Pakistan and Afghanistan relation, he said it was squarely depended on the behaviours and actions of the interim government of Afghanistan.
“If they continue harbor terrorists including TTP, I am afraid the future of those relations does not seem to be right,” he remarked.
He ruled out negotiation with any armed group until and unless they laid their arms and recognized the constitution of Pakistan as governing document the supreme law of land.
To another query, he said elections were on the cards both in India and Pakistan and “once we have elected governments in both countries and they got fresh mandates, we can hope that they will discuss the issues including long standing disputes both the countries have since three quarters of a century.”
He said the caretaker government was born out of a constitutional process and would not do anything illegal.
The minister said many countries including western countries had taken extraordinary measures in extraordinary situations during the elections.
The incumbent fully believed in the freedom of press and expression,he said in response to another query.