Pakistan Govt Firm on General Election Date, Rules Out Extension Possibility

Wed Dec 13 2023
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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Information Minister, Murtaza Solangi, said on Wednesday that there will be no change, extension, or amendment to the general election date set by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

Speaking at a press conference following a Federal Cabinet meeting, Solangi dismissed any intention of postponing the elections, stating that no such incident had occurred that could lead to such change.

The cabinet, presided over by Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar, also condemned the “unilateral verdict” of the Indian Supreme Court regarding the illegal annexation of the occupied Jammu and Kashmir by India.

Solangi affirmed that Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) remains an international dispute and urged the international community to condemn India’s actions, emphasizing the need for a resolution based on UN Security Council resolutions and the aspirations of the Kashmiri people.

In response to the recent terrorist attack in Dera Ismail Khan, Solangi conveyed the cabinet’s condolences to the families of the martyrs and highlighted that such cowardly acts cannot deter the determination of the Pakistani nation. PM Kakar commended the martyrs as the pride of the nation and vowed to continue the war against terrorism until its complete elimination.

Political Exchanges Between Pakistan and Gambia

Among the approved decisions, the cabinet endorsed the Memorandum of Understanding on mutual political exchanges between the Republic of Gambia and Pakistan, aligning with Pakistan’s “Engage Africa” policy. Additionally, the cabinet approved the immediate termination of the National Telecommunication Corporation’s (NTC) managing director for misuse of authority and authorized disciplinary action against him. Mian Mohammad Shafiq will assume the role of acting managing director until a new appointment is made.

The cabinet also approved changes to rules and regulations to facilitate Afghan nationals residing in Pakistan who lack legal proof of entry or processing fees and wish to leave for a third country. The fine for overstaying in Pakistan was reduced to $400, and the deadline for their stay was extended to February 29, 2024.

Furthermore, the cabinet approved the first “National Space Policy,” allowing international companies to provide services through Low Orbit Communication Satellite in Pakistan. The policy aims to attract foreign investment and save valuable foreign exchange. PM Kakar lauded the collaborative efforts of relevant ministries and institutions in formulating Pakistan’s inaugural space policy.

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