Govt resolved to hold election in free, fair, transparent manner: Ali Zafar

APP11-17 RAWALPINDI: July 17 – Caretaker Federal Minister for IBNH & LH Syed Ali Zafar addressing to Lahore High Court Bench at High Court. APP photo by Abid Zia

RAWALPINDI, Jul 17 (APP):Caretaker Minister for Information, Broadcasting, National History and Literary Heritage Syed Ali Zafar on Tuesday expressed the government’s resolve to hold the upcoming elections on time and in a free, fair and transparent manner.
Addressing Lahore High Court Bar Association Rawalpindi Bench here, he said, “The federal and provincial governments will extend all kinds of assistance to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to conduct free, fair and transparent polls on time.”
He said anti-state elements were making attempts to derail the election. “We will fail their designs through unity at national level.”
He strongly condemned terrorist attacks on the rallies of political parties in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and expressed sympathies with the affected families. He said the anti-state elements wanted to harm unity of the nation.
He said it was collective responsibility of all, including the political parties, to counter any narrative against the institutions.
Syed Ali Zafar said he had interacted with the ECP many times and was quite satisfied with the steps being taken by it for conducting the elections in a transparent manner.
He said according to the Elections Act-2017, the ECP had been empowered. “The Election Commission of Pakistan is one of the most powerful commissions in the world,” he added.
He assured assistance of the government to the Election Commission of Pakistan for implementing the code of conduct issued for the political parties.
The minister said the caretaker government could not take long term decisions; however, it would definitely leave behind guidelines in various sectors, including water resources for the next elected government.
“We can take day to day decisions in emergency. The caretaker government will prepare guidelines for the upcoming government to address the challenges confronting the people and the country,” he added.
The minister said presently the country and the people were facing many challenges and the government was determined to find solution of the problems and prepare guideline for the upcoming government.
Sharing his ideas to address the issue of water, he said a panel of experts had been invited to find out a solution. It was unfortunate that all the previous governments had failed to give any importance to the issue, he added.
He said after the division of rivers among Pakistan and India, Pakistan was required to construct 17 big dams but unfortunately only two were constructed. The capacity to store water in the two dams had also declined, he added.
He said about 90 per cent water was being used for the agriculture sector, while the farmers were using old techniques. “We can save water by using modern techniques in the agriculture sector,” he added.
He said all over the world, about 20 to 25 per cent development budget was being allocated for the water sector but in Pakistan it was only 5 per cent.
Ali Zafar said as a member of the Rawalpindi bar he was well aware of its problems. He stressed the need for provision of speedy justice to the masses. The number of law colleges had increased in the country while steps had not been taken to accommodate new lawyers, he added.
He expressed his resolve to accommodate the new lawyers, saying the government would make amendments in the laws to ensure that one lawyer would represent only one company as legal adviser.
He said the government would ensure that law officers were appointed on merit. He said the law officers had been directed to take all the decisions on merit and guide the departments for right decisions.
The minister said about Rs 220 million had been disbursed among all the bars of the country. He said steps would be taken to bring all the bars upto the standard.
He also announced Rs 6 million for the Rawalpindi Bar and assured full assistance for the resolution of their issues.
Rawalpindi Bar President Hassan Raza Pasha said the legal community would continue to work for the rule of law, supremacy of democracy and independence of judiciary.
The event was also attended by Secretary Law and Justice, Justice ® Abdul Shakoor Paracha and representatives of various bars.