PML-N, PPP assured of ‘conducive’ environment ahead of polls

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Two major political parties — the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) — were assured Wednesday by the caretaker government of a conducive environment as the country heads towards general elections.

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has already said that the general polls will be held in January next year, prompting political parties to begin their campaigns for wooing voters and strengthening party ranks.

However, apart from the PPP, the Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and other political parties have demanded the authorities ensure a “level-playing field” for all.

Interim Minister for Information and Broadcasting Murtaza Solangi, in his meetings with PML-N and PPP leaders, said the fundamental responsibility of the caretaker government was to provide a conducive environment for elections and monitor the electoral process.

State-run APP reported that the minister held separate meetings with PML-N leader Musadik Malik and PPP’s Syed Akhunzada Chattan.

During the meetings, issues of mutual interest — including upcoming general elections — were discussed.

Solangi said that the peaceful transfer of power was the topmost priority of the caretaker dispensation.

The minister assured both the leaders that the caretaker government would ensure that elections were conducted in fair, transparent, and impartial elections.

Despite being partners in the last government and demanding PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif’s return, PPP has raised concerns that the former prime minister might be a “special relief”.

Nawaz will return to Pakistan on October 21, with the PML-N’s legal team being hopeful that he will not have to go to jail despite being a convict and an absconder.

Solangi’s meeting with both the politicos comes after he met PTI leader Shafqat Mahmood to evolve a consensus on the general elections and ease the prevailing tense political environment in the country.

Although Solangi said no political discussion took place, the PTI said conducting transparent elections, ensuring equal opportunities to participate in the polls for political parties, evolving greater national consensus, and other matters of mutual interest came under discussion during the meeting.

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