President writes to PM stressing level playing field for political parties in elections

President writes to PM

ISLAMABAD (APP): President Dr Arif Alvi in a letter addressed to Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar on Wednesday emphasized holding of free and fair elections, saying that all political parties and leaders have the right to contest polls.

“There is a resonance in Pakistan that for free, fair and credible elections, all political parties and leaders have the right to contest and it is up to the people to decide,” he wrote in his letter, according to a press release issued by the President’s House.

The president, in this regard, also forwarded a letter to the premier he received from Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf General Secretary Omar Ayub Khan.

The PTI says that it i facing obstacles in conducting political activities and asserts that several of its leaders have been detained in the aftermath of the May 9 countrywide unrest.

President Alvi highlighted that democracy was the only viable way forward for the state and people of Pakistan, the “essence of which lied in giving people the right to partake in political activities and to be able to voice their opinions through a free media”.

In his letter, the president stated that it was of utmost importance that the caretaker government under the prime minister’s leadership made efforts as a neutral entity to provide a level-playing field for all political parties.

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“In this context, it was reassuring to hear your recent statements whereby you stated that it was caretaker government’s policy that all registered political parties should have equal rights and opportunities to contest the forthcoming elections,” he wrote.

President Alvi said that as the office of the president of Pakistan represented the unity of the republic as head of state under Article 41 of the Constitution of Pakistan and, therefore, it was duty-bound along with the prime minister and all institutions to protect the rights of the citizens, as enshrined in the Constitution.

The president wrote that Article 4 of the Constitution of Pakistan clearly stipulated that it was the inalienable right of every citizen to be treated in accordance with law.

The Article 17 of the Constitution provided that every citizen shall have the right to form associations and/or be a member of a political party, he added.

The president said Article 19 of the Constitution stated that every citizen shall have the right to freedom of speech and expression, and there shall be freedom of the press.

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