Speakers at a seminar hosted by the Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE) unanimously demanded of the government to announce general election so as to clear the air of uncertainty.
Leaders of political parties, senior journalists and editors speaking at the seminar “Democratic Transition, Free and Fair Elections,” called for improving the security situation in the country ahead of the polls.
They also urged the government to provide security to the media during the coverage of elections. The participants of the seminar resolved that except the democratic process no unconstitutional step would be tolerated and all political parties and civil society would resist any attempt to increase the tenure of the caretaker government.
Speaking at the seminar, MQM Deputy Convener Dr Farooq Sattar said that democracy was incomplete without local government.
He said that the party forming the next government should hold local bodies’ poll within 100 days. He also urged political parties to craft a national terrorism policy.
Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Memon said that it seems that this time too, no party would get enough mandate and there would be a coalition government in the country.
ANP’s Ameer Nawab opined that the name of every person acquiring a CNIC from Nadra should by design get enrolled on the voter list with details available with the registration authority.
Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Central Secretary General Hafiz Hussain Ahmad said that the security situation in Balochistan was precarious and there were fears that the insurgents might kill candidates.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 9th, 2013.