PM Kakar rejects possibility of military intervention in General Elections

PM Kakar rejects possibility of military intervention in General Elections

In an interview with The Associated Press, Pakistan's interim prime minister expressed his expectation that parliamentary elections would occur in the new year. He dismissed the possibility of the country's powerful military manipulating the election results to prevent Imran Khan's party, who is currently imprisoned, from winning.

He emphasized that the Election Commission, not the military, would oversee the vote, and Khan had appointed the commission's chief, so any notion of turning against him seemed unlikely.

Pakistan has been facing political turmoil since April 2022 when Khan was removed from office and later arrested on corruption charges. The country is also grappling with a severe economic crisis and the aftermath of devastating floods. The Election Commission recently announced a delay in the elections, setting them for the last week of January, rather than November as initially planned.

The interim prime minister, who resigned as a senator to oversee the elections, pledged to provide the necessary assistance for the elections once an exact date is set. When asked about recommending the overturning of Khan's conviction so he could run in the elections, he stated he wouldn't interfere with judicial decisions and emphasized that the judiciary should not be used for political purposes.

He highlighted the importance of fair elections, even if Khan and many of his party members are in jail due to unlawful activities. He noted that those within Khan's party who had not engaged in unlawful actions would participate in the political process.

Regarding allegations of military influence in Pakistan's politics, the interim prime minister, who has ties to the military, considered them a part of the country's political culture but emphasized a smooth and open working relationship between his government and the military.

He cited challenges in civil-military relations but suggested that strengthening civilian institutions over time would be a more effective solution than weakening the military.

He also discussed the longstanding issue of Kashmir, expressing concern about the situation in the region and the lack of international attention compared to other global crises. He emphasized the importance of the Kashmiri people in resolving the dispute between India and Pakistan over the region.