A big surprise for Imran Khan from ECP

A big surprise for Imran Khan from ECP

The election commission has questioned the neutrality of the country’s caretaker government tasked with holding national elections, saying it appears to be aligned with the opponents of jailed former prime minister Imran Khan.

The caretaker government, which took over last month on the five year expiry of parliament, is meant to ensure impartiality in the run up to the election, but Khan’s continued incarceration and ban from contesting elections has raised concerns.

“It is a general perception that the caretaker government is a continuation of the previous government,” says a letter seen by *Reuters* written by the Election Commission to the office of caretaker Prime Minister Anwar ul Haq Kakar.

Kakar, whose party was an ally in the outgoing anti-Khan coalition government, took over from Shehbaz Sharif who comes from Khan’s biggest rival party, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), which with the alliance of nearly a dozen parties removed Khan from power.

The letter, dated Wednesday, is a rare official rebuke of the government. Election results are rarely accepted across the board in Pakistan and perceptions of bias could cast a further shadow over the credibility of the process.

An almost certain delay in the national election, which is due in November, has stoked more political uncertainty amid the worst economic crisis in the nation of 241 million.

No date has so far been given for the voting, and analysts fear that the caretaker government led by Kakar, who comes from a pro-military political party, could remain in power for a longer period.