National address: ‘Will hand over power to elected govt without delay’

PM Khoso vows to hold elections on scheduled date.


Our Correspondent May 03, 2013
Caretaker Prime Minister Mir Hazar Khan Khoso addressing the nation. PHOTO: APP

ISLAMABAD:


Amid escalating incidences of violence and constantly circulating conspiracy theories, Prime Minister Justice (retd) Mir Hazar Khan Khoso on Friday vowed that elections will be held on schedule.


“I assure you that independent, fair and impartial polls will be held on May 11. We will hand over power to the elected representatives without any delay. The interim government will never accept any extension” Khoso said in his first national address, broadcasted on PTV.

The retired judge said that it is in the mandate of the election commission to hold free elections for which the interim government would provide all possible assistance. “Maintaining law and order is the responsibility of the interim government. We will not allow anyone to play with the lives of the people” he said.

The interim prime minister’s address to the nation comes a few days after the chief of army staff’s address in which he committed that the armed forces would support the continuation of democracy but warned that if the system failed to deliver the masses will not differentiate between democracy and dictatorship.

Khoso said that his government was taking stringent measures to deal with terrorism and that he was in contact with the provincial governments to ensure that the elections were held peacefully.

The premier said that a special cell was set up under the interior ministry, which would provide intelligence to the provincial government and law enforcement agencies. “We are also taking steps to enhance security and monitoring of the polling stations. The contingents of Pakistan army will be on high alert to be used in case of any emergency,” he said.

Khoso who belongs to Balochistan, said his appointment as interim prime minister would have a far reaching impact on the impoverished province and would help lessen the sense of deprivation among its inhabitants.

“I visited Balochistan recently and it is a good omen that all political parties are taking part in the upcoming elections,” he said.

Expressing concern over the recent attacks on political parties in Karachi premier Khoso said, “We are trying to maintain peace in Pakistan”.

Highlighting the preparations made for May 11 he elaborated that the finance ministry was directed to release Rs 45 billion to the water and power ministry which would ensure that there are no power outages for 36 hours starting May 10th. “I have also directed them to curtail all unnecessary expenditures in the next budget. I am hopeful that we will hand over a better economy to the next government by adopting financial discipline,” he added.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Khoso also directed the finance ministry to allocate substantial funds for agriculture, energy, health and education sectors in the next budget and come up with recommendations to broaden the tax base.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 4th, 2013.

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