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Polls will be on time, free and fair: Zardari

28 December, 2012

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GARHI KHUDA BAKHSH: President Asif Ali Zardari said on Thursday that arrangements have been made to hold free and fair elections, adding that they will be held on time.

Addressing a huge gathering to mark the fifth death anniversary of Benazir Bhutto, President Zardari said the Pakistan People's Party would install a transparent caretaker setup in consultation with all political parties and the opposition to ensure free and fair elections. He said the government has done the necessary legislation to put in place a caretaker setup. "The setup will be put in place in consultation with the opposition and other political parties so that the general elections are held in a free, fair and impartial manner," he added.

He said the sole objective of setting up an independent election commissioner was to ensure that no hidden agenda could be achieved. Attired in a black shalwar kameez and a Sindhi cap, the president said his government was all set to complete its five-year term and will be holding the polls. "We have taken all measures to ensure holding of free, fair and transparent election," the President said and added that no one should have any doubt in this regard. "We have served long 12-year jail terms and are not afraid of anything," he declared. "If needed, we will fight back, as we have fought for this freedom and will not let anyone usurp it at any cost," the president vowed.

He said the Egyptian model of governance cannot be pursued in Pakistan. "If someone thinks that it can be followed, then he is wrong, as it will not work here," he noted. He, however, urged all the proponents of the idea to come forward and be a part of the electoral process. He said politics was not a day-long affair and it took decades to make a strong country and nation. He said the PPP was here to stay for a long time to come and will continue to serve the masses.

Zardari said certain internal and external forces did not wish democracy to succeed, but expressed his firm resolve that just like the government has completed five years of democracy, it will continue to flourish and gain more strength in the days ahead. "With the support of the people we will fight all forces that are against democracy," the president said.

End.

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