People to exercise right to vote freely, without fear: Ali Zafar

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APP41-23 ISLAMABAD: July 23 - Syed Ali Zafar, Federal Minister for IBNH&LH visiting different sections of Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation Headquarters. APP

ISLAMABAD, Jul 23 (APP):Federal Minister for Information, Broadcasting, National History and Literary Heritage Barrister Syed Ali Zafar on Monday expressed the hope that people all across the country would exercise their right to vote
freely and without any fear.
Speaking at the inauguration of Election City 2018 of Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation (PBC)
here, he said all the stakeholders including the previous Parliament and Election Commission of Pakistan played their role for a transparent and impartial election.
He said the caretaker government was completely impartial and it had nothing to do with who would win or lose the election or which party would emerge successful. The fate and progress of the country was in hands of the people who would have the opportunity to cast their vote thoughtfully and without any fear, he added.
The minister said in the past, results from Presiding Officers were sent with delay which created
doubts but now the method was completely changed. The Election Commission had prepared software through which results from the Returning Officers would be received directly by ECP and through a link would also be received by Pakistan Television, he informed. He said if there would be any interruption at any time in the software of Election Commission then hard copy could be acquired from the Returning Officer.
The minister said Radio Pakistan was a prized possession of Pakistan and it was not only listened
in far flung areas of Pakistan but also across the border. It was the only media outlet which reached 80 percent areas of the country and 95 percent of the total population.
Ali Zafar appreciated that Radio Pakistan had hundreds of thousands of followers on social media
platforms Twitter and Facebook and the number was increasing with every passing day. He congratulated the management of Radio Pakistan for setting up Election City.
To a question, he said according to schedule of Election Commission the election campaign would end on July 23. He said the candidates fully participated in the election campaign and strengthened democracy and now people had to decide who would win or lose.
To another question, he said Pakistan was fighting the war against terrorism for a long time and
success was achieved to a large extent. The anti-state elements wanted to delay or sabotage the elections, he noted, adding that the aim of the recent terror incidents was to harm democracy but the nation remained united and political activities continued normally in the country. He said the caretaker government would arrange for foolproof security for the election on July 25.
Ali Zafar told that 450,000 police personnel and more than 300,000 army jawans were deployed, adding never before such a large number of security personnel were put on duty.
To a question, he said security would be tight due to safety concerns and Close Circuit Television
Cameras (CCTV) would be installed at sensitive polling stations so that the whole process could be kept transparent and clear. He said the credit for transparent election went to Election Commission and the last Parliament which enacted Election Act 2017. He said present Election Commission was far more powerful than the previous election bodies.
Responding to a question, the minister said after the election of 2013, 55 different complaints
were received from observers as well as from media and civil society, adding the last Parliament worked for three years and enacted a comprehensive Election Act so that previous complaints should not arise.
Ali Zafar informed that after the detailed code of conduct and SOPs of the Election Commission, the
election process had been improved so that there were no complaints.
Director General Radio Pakistan Shafqat Jalil and senior officials of Radio Pakistan were present on the occasion.
Shafqat Jalil assured that according to the policy of caretaker government, timely and certified election results would be delivered to the people. He said during the special transmission of Election City,
people would listen to the analysis and reports of experts. If people would have any complaint in any constituency they could approach the regional offices or headquarters of the Election Commission.
Earlier, the Information Minister visited current affairs section, news room, FM 92 Dhanak, desk for translation of regional languages and web desk of Radio Pakistan.