PM Kakar dismisses allegations of military interference in polls as ‘baseless’

PM Kakar

ISLAMABAD: Interim Prime Minister Anwarul Haq Kakar dismissed allegations of military interference in the general elections, terming them as baseless and absurd, as reported by Associated Press (AP).

During his interview with AP, Kakar talked about the serious allegations against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) as well as its members regarding May 9 vandalism and suggested that future general elections in Pakistan could proceed fairly, even without the participation of PTI Chief and his political party.

“In Pakistan, it is not the military but the constitutional body, the Election Commission of Pakistan, that oversees elections. In fact, the current head of this commission was appointed by PTI Chief,” he added.

Meanwhile, he categorically rejected the notion that Pakistan’s military could manipulate the election outcomes to thwart PTI’s victory, especially while the former prime minister remains in detention.

Picture Courtesy AP

As per AP reports, he said that the country had been grappling with the political crisis ever since PTI Chief was removed from the office in April 2022 through a parliamentary vote of no confidence.

“I will not advocate for the annulment of PTI chief’s sentence,” stated Kakar in response to a question about whether he would advise the judges to overturn PTI chief’s conviction, allowing him to participate in the elections.

The interim premier emphasised that he would refrain from intervening in the judiciary’s rulings and underscored the importance of not manipulating the judiciary for political gains.

“We are not driven by personal vendettas,” Kakar stated. “However, we are committed to upholding the law. Whether it’s PTI Chief or any other politician, if they violate the country’s laws through their political actions, it’s imperative to uphold the rule of law. This shouldn’t be mistaken for political bias.”

Speaking about the elections, PM Kakar said that once the ECP determines the election date, his administration will ensure the provision of all necessary resources, including financial and security support.

Regarding questions about the relationship between the government and the military in Pakistan, Kakar acknowledged that allegations against Pakistan’s military have been part of the country’s political culture.

“The interim government maintains a strong and transparent working relationship with the military, which is open and visible to all,” he added.

Nonetheless, he recognised that there are challenges in civil-military relations but contended that gradually improving the performance of civilian institutions is the solution, as years of mismanagement have affected their functioning.

PM Kakar also addressed the longstanding issue of Kashmir between Pakistan and India and stated: “Kashmir issue has remained a contentious point since the end of British colonial rule in 1947. Both countries have engaged in two wars over the disputed region,” he said.

He mentioned that on August 5, 2019, India’s Hindu nationalist government decided to revoke the semi-autonomous status of the Muslim-majority region, altering its status, constitution, land, and employment inheritance.

Kakar underscored the need for a diplomatic resolution to the Kashmir dispute and said that it should not be viewed lightly, given the large Indian military presence in the region and the restricted rights of the Kashmiri people.

“The world doesn’t understand the gravity of the Kashmir dispute,” Kakar said. “India has deployed 900,000 troops in Kashmir, subjecting its inhabitants to a big prison without any political or legal justification”.

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