LONDON: According to Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah, electronic voting machines will not be used in the next general election. He did, however, state that the government will take steps to provide expats with representation.
The statement came following a meeting between Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and federal ministers with PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif at his son Hussain Nawaz’s residence in London. This was the prime minister’s second meeting with Nawaz since he and his delegation flew to London.
The minister, who was flanked by federal ministers Ahsan Iqbal and Marriyum Aurangzeb, told Pakistani media that the current government will “abolish” the concept of EVMs. He also briefed the media on the meeting’s decisions.
Sanaullah praised the Pakistan Army spokesman’s statement about the military leadership’s decision to stay out of politics and avoid being drawn into it in any way.
“The PML-N welcomed ISPR Director General Major General Iftikhar Babar’s statement on Thursday that the Pakistan Army would maintain its constitutional role and that no political party should attempt to drag it into politics.”
“What DG ISPR said was a vindication of Nawaz Sharif’s stance that all institutions should stay out of political matters and play their constitutional role only,” he said.
Sanaullah went on to say that this is Nawaz Sharif’s narrative, that institutions should not be involved in politics. He said it’s a welcome step that the judiciary and other institutions have stayed out of politics, which is why Imran Khan is running a smear campaign against the army and judiciary.
When asked about PTI leader Fawad Chaudhary’s call for the Pakistan Army to play the role of “chowkidar” and hold elections, and in response to the DG ISPR’s statement that it was not the military’s job to hold elections, Sanaullah stated that the statement was in accordance with the Constitution.
“Fawad Chaudhry has used derogatory language for the armed forces of Pakistan which we condemn.”
He also stated that it had been decided that the PTI’s planned dharna in Islamabad would be dealt with harshly, with zero tolerance for anyone attempting to incite violence.
When asked if former Prime Minister Imran Khan would be arrested, the interior minister stated that no one would be arrested arbitrarily, but that anyone found to be involved in illegal activities would be arrested and dealt with harshly after all legal requirements were met.
He stated that the meeting went over the PTI’s planned march to Islamabad for a dharna at the end of this month. “Nawaz Sharif has advised us on the course of action, but because we are a coalition, we will put all suggestions to our coalition partners for a joint decision.” Forget about two million people; Imran Khan will be unable to bring 20,000 people, and if we do not allow him to bring out 20.”
Sanaullah stated that it had been decided to bring the “dirt” and “corruption” left by the PTI government before the nation. Concerning the next elections, Sanaullah stated that the decision was in the hands of coalition partners and that “if allies want us to go for early elections, we will do that.”
According to Sanaullah, the meeting took stock of the mess Imran Khan has left behind by destroying the economy and social fabric of society, and he is misleading the nation.
“Nawaz Sharif has provided us with guidelines and education” on how to proceed.
Meanwhile, federal minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal stated that the main purpose of the visit was to assess the country’s current situation and seek guidance from Nawaz Sharif because “he is the most senior statesman of Pakistan and we wanted to consult him so that the government could steer the country out of crises on a fast track in the coming days.” Pakistan’s economy is in shambles, thanks to the PTI’s mismanagement.
The national leadership must guide the country out of this crisis. This is a coalition government, and all decisions should be made with mutual respect and understanding. “We will trust our partners on everything we discussed with Nawaz Sharif.” The national leadership will play its part in bringing the country out of its crisis.”
Former Prime Minister Imran Khan, according to Ahsan, is a “enemy of the country” who “targets Pakistan’s constitution and Pakistani institutions.” He lies constantly and has violated the constitution; we will not tolerate it because Pakistan belongs to all of us.
Imran Khan has gone insane and wants to destroy institutions by launching a smear campaign against the constitution. He claims to be running a freedom campaign, but he has surrendered to the IMF and sold out the State Bank of Pakistan. He claims he has never asked for help, but he has solicited donations his entire life.”