Caretaker govt has no role in fixing election date: Minister


Caretaker Minister for Information and Broadcasting Murtaza Solangi has said the date for the upcoming general election would be announced by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), which was constitutionally responsible to conduct the polls in the country.
The minister, in an interview with the CNN, clarified that the Caretaker government had no role in fixing the election date, as it was solely within the purview of the ECP. Solangi said there might be a “slight delay” in the elections as the new census had been notified.
“Once the census is notified, the Election Commission of Pakistan — a constitutional body responsible for conducting elections — needs four months to complete the delimitation exercise.” Subsequently, a constitutionally mandated 54-day period was allocated for political parties to conduct election campaigns, he added.
As regard the Tuesday’s chairlift incident, the Information Minister commended the joint effort of the Pakistan Army and Pakistan Air Force for successfully rescuing all individuals who were stranded on the chairlift in the remote and rugged valley of Hindkush and Korakram mountain ranges in Battagram, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The operation was carried out with meticulous coordination, ensuring the safety of the trapped passengers, he said while sharing insights on the rescue operation. Highlighting the challenges in dissemination of information due to the remote nature of the area, he said the district administration, on receiving the news, approached the provincial and regional administrations that subsequently alerted the federal authorities.
Solangi detailed the comprehensive rescue mission, which involved deploying helicopters from the Pakistan Army and Air Force, along with a Commanding Officer from the SSG and his troops who led the efforts on the ground.
He said an extensive inspection of all chairlifts and cable cars in the region had already been initiated by the provincial authorities. The Hazara region had 70 cable cars, including 11 in the specific region where the incident took place.
The minister said the remote area, affected by both climate change and seismic activity, had witnessed natural disasters, including a significant earthquake in 2005 and severe flooding in 2010 that destroyed infrastructure of the area.