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‘No truth in rumours about elections delay’: Minister

LAHORE: Caretaker Minister for Information, Broadcasting and Law Affairs Barrister Ali Zafar said on Tuesday that free, fair and transparent general elections would be held on time and there was no truth in rumours about delay.

Talking to media after distributing cheques among various Bar Councils and Associations at the Lahore High Court Bar, he assured that all-out efforts were being made for holding elections on time and there was no chance of delay.

He said that Fata merger was a historical decision and now same fundamental laws would be applicable in the area which were enjoyed by citizens in rest of the country.

Barrister Ali Zafar said that at present, there were no courts and other administrative facilities in the area. He said that the interim government had formed an implementation committee besides

various sub-committees to expedite process of Fata merger with the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

To a question about elections of provincial assembly in Fata area, he said that the elections would be held within one year as provided in the constitution. The matter was also being reviewed by the Supreme Court of Pakistan, he added.

To another question about facility of casting vote to overseas Pakistanis, he said that the Election Commission was empowered to take steps for the purpose, adding that steps should be taken for the purpose and modern technology could also be used in this regard.

Responding to a question about Kalabagh Dam construction, he said that Pakistan ranked top among the countries who waste water.

He said that Kalabagh Dam should be constructed in his personal opinion but it could not be done without agreement of all the provinces. He said that other dams and reservoirs should also be constructed besides focusing on Kalabagh Dam issue.

Barrister Ali Zafar said that he met with chairman WAPDA and it transpired that the dams could not be constructed due to negligence of previous governments. He said that caretaker government would take all possible steps for the purpose and also made recommendations for the next government.

To a question about loadshedding, he said that there was dire need of enhancing power transmission capacity besides generation. Besides traditional means, we must also develop electricity from solar, wind and other resources but it could not be done at once, he added. He said that next government should take steps for the purpose.

He maintained that law would be followed in Ishaq Dar issue while replying to a question about issuance of red warrants for him.

Earlier, the minister addressed a gathering of lawyers at Javed Iqbal Auditorium of the LHC bar. He said that he was a representative of the lawyers community in the interim government and all possible steps would be taken for their welfare.

He said that the bars could not function independently if they did not have sufficient funds. He said that the interim government was aware of its responsibility and it had given aid to 150-200 bars so far.

He further said that all legal documents and transactions should be carried out through lawyers and legislation should also be done for the purpose. He said that the step would not only create opportunities for the lawyers but also helpful to the masses.

The minister distributed cheques among representatives of various bar associations at this occasion.

President Lahore High Court Bar Anwaar ul Haq Pannu also addressed the gathering.