Brushing aside the recent allegations levelled against his government by two mainstream parties — Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) — caretaker Prime Minister Anwar-ul-Haq Kakar has said that the “victim card” could be a “narrative” of any political party.
The caretaker premier made the remarks during an exclusive interview on Geo News programme ‘Jirga’, which will be aired at 10:05 tonight.
As the general elections are drawing nearer, the Imran Khan-led PTI and the Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari-led PPP have repeatedly been complaining that they were being denied a level-playing field in the run-up to polls and attempts are being made to pave the way for the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) return to power. They also accused the caretaker government of giving “preferential treatment” to the PML-N.
Bilawal had complained about his party never receiving a level-playing field. The party has been persistently voicing concerns regarding the absence of equal opportunities to prove itself ahead of the polls.
On the other hand, amid reports of minus Imran Khan elections, the PTI had also accused the interim government of denying them a level-playing field. The PTI chairman is behind bars in Adiala Jail and the party’s leadership claims that they are not allowed to run even electioneer.
In a bid to clear the air, the country’s caretaker chief executive said: “Holding the elections at the earliest is our utmost priority.” He said the interim government wanted people to elect their representatives by exercising their democratic rights in the upcoming elections — slated to be held on February 8 next year.
“We want to hand over the responsibilities to the [upcoming] elected government.”
Responding to a question about the allegations levelled against his government by the two mainstream parties, the premier asked: “What have we done that [a negative] impression is being given that we have a biased [attitude against] any political party?”, adding, “Did we imprison the former prime minister [Imran Khan]?”
He further clarified that the deposed prime minister — who was removed from office in April last year via a no-confidence motion — was apprehended before the caretaker setup.
The PTI chief was arrested from his Zaman Park residence in Lahore soon after being convicted in the Toshakhana case on August 5.
However, Kakar — a former senator and a leader of the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) — took oath as the eighth caretaker prime minister of Pakistan on August 14.
The premier said that Khan was legally arrested and facing the charges in the court. “It would be impartiality if we would have acquitted him [Khan] of all the charges via a royal decree.”
The caretaker prime minister said that they could not do so legally.
“Think 10 times before hurling allegations,” he added.
Rejecting the “slow poisoning” claim, the prime minister said, “The PTI chairman is safe in jail.” It was their legal responsibility to ensure the safety of the incarcerated former premier, he added.
“Nobody has personal enmity with the PTI chairman,” said the prime minister.