Pak Affairs Politics

Musharraf terms polls’ date change, reports baseless

KARACHI: President Pervez Musharraf Monday dispelled the rumors about a national government or a change of date for the polls and stated that such rumors are absolutely incorrect. Chairing a meeting of the Caretaker Sindh Cabinet at the Chief Minister House here, President Musharraf said that the polls would be conducted peacefully as per schedule, announced by the Election Commission of Pakistan. He said no persons or groups would be allowed to disrupt the electoral process.

The spokesman of the President, Major General (Retd) Rashid Qureshi, later briefing the media said in his address to the provincial cabinet President Musharraf emphasised that the coming national polls would take place in accordance with the date already notified by the Election Commission of Pakistan. The President made it very clear that the elections would be held on the date already determined and will take place under the caretaker government. He also emphasised that all actions that were taken previously for the economic growth of the country must continue and be sustained.

President Musharraf stated that rapid economic growth is good for the people of Pakistan and essential for the country. He said terrorism would be combated and would be controlled and if possible eliminated as soon as possible. The President spoke at length about the fallout and the occurrence of the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, and said the losses the common man and the people of Pakistan was unacceptable and will not be allowed to happen again.

He asked the law enforcement agencies and the government authorities to make sure that no such incident between now and the elections as well as after that takes place which disturb the peace. The President also addressed the issue of wheat flour which was in short supply and became expensive and said that action against this has already been taken and in the next few days there will be alleviation of this problem.

He also informed the Caretaker cabinet of Sindh that the production of wheat in Pakistan was enough as 23 million tons was produced and that the problem had occurred because of smuggling as well as hoarding which the law enforcement agencies are controlling and within a few days we will see betterment in the situation. He stated that it is being said that a lot of wheat had been exported which is not true and only half a million ton has been exported because at that time we had wheat in surplus.

Musharraf said the Federal Food Committee (FFC), which had been formed, has taken immediate action and was also told to take any future shortages into account and make sure appropriate action is taken in time. He also mentioned that the issue of poverty would be addressed by growth in the industrial and communication sectors.-SANA

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Rubab Saleem

Rubab Saleem is Editor of Pakistan Times

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