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PM Ashraf vows 'consensus' caretaker set-up

14 February, 2013

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf has said that an interim set-up, which is acceptable to all, will be ensured to hold free and Fair elections in the country.

The prime minister told a private TV channel in London that the name for interim prime minister will be finalised after consultation with the opposition and allied political parties. He said it was his constitutional obligation to hold consultation for the name of interim prime minister. He said he would write letter to leader of the opposition to seek nominations.

To a question that whether Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League (Q) will join hands in the upcoming polls or run separately, the prime minister said the probability could be either way.

Raja said he wanted to meet Mutahidda Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Husain in London to personally express gratitude for his party's support for the PPP government. However, he said, the meeting could not take place as Altaf was not present in the United Kingdom.

The prime minister said for the first time in the country's history, a government was nearing completion of its five-year tenure. He said the continuation of democracy could be ensured only through free and fair elections. Raja said the great Bhuttos laid their lives for democracy in the country. He said Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto were the true martyrs of democracy, while the opportunists were falsely portraying themselves as the champions.

He dismissed a news published in a section of press that a highly expensive suit was bought for him from the London's famous department store Harrods, for his meeting with the British prime minister.

"For the meeting [with the British prime minsiter], I wore my two-year old suit and my four-year old pair of shoes, the same which I am wearing right now," the prime minister said pointing to his attire.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf on Wednesday telephoned MQM chief Altaf Hussain and discussed caretaker set-up with him.

Raja expressed confidence that a consensus caretaker set-up will be formed to ensure transparent and free elections. Both the leaders discussed issues regarding the interim government and law and order situation in Karachi.

Altaf said it was desire of all political stakeholders that general elections are transparent fair and free. He said Election Commission of Pakistan should remain neutral and upright so that no one could point finger on its performance.

He urged the prime minister to ensure increase in number of police personnel in Karachi and equip them with latest technology to overcome law and order situation.

End.

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