- “I am not [just] hopeful [rather] I am certain,” says Kakar of elections.
- Govt coming up short- and mid-term solutions to electricity tariff hike: PM.
- Interim PM says has an “excellent working relationship” with military.
ISLAMABAD: Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar has asserted he is not only hopeful but certain that general elections in the country will be held in the next three to four months.
In an interview with a local TV channel, the interim PM when asked about his course of action if any future scenario demanded an extension in the caretaker setup, said as per the legal arrangement, the country would enter electoral process within three to four months, The News reported on Wednesday.
“I think within a few months… few months can be translated into three, three-and-half or four…that needs to be seen…this will conclude and we will go to the electoral process,” he commented.
Asked again whether he expected the general elections to be held within four months, he replied, “I am not [just] hopeful [rather] I am certain”.
He said considering the limited time, his government was mulling to prioritise certain policy issues to at least lay a foundation for any future government to enable that to carry forward the journey.
To a question, the prime minister explained that even after the expiry of the term, the president of Pakistan could continue in his office till the election of his replacement. However, the Senate chairman would fill the slot, in case he voluntarily gives up the office.
Coming to the issue of electricity bills, the prime minister said the government was coming up with short- and mid-term solutions, including the planning to convert the oil-based power plants to run on local coal.
Besides, the process for privatisation of one or two power distribution companies would also be finalised soon, which would help curb power theft through introduction of new technology and would also attract investment.
He said besides power Discos, privatisation of some important state-owned enterprises was also being processed.
Regarding the sugar price hike, Kakar said the government had asked the provinces to activate the price control committees and there would be a crackdown on the hoarders.
The caretaker PM said through a legislation, the previous government had empowered the caretaker setup, which necessitated them to act differently from the normal interim setup.
He told the interviewer that the Special Investment Facilitation Council had been formed as a forum to address the concerns impeding the investment projects. He said Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar and Bahrain had sent proposals and due diligence was being done, which would follow the signing of formal agreements by November or December.
He said the level of commitment by civil and military leadership, and bureaucratic energy would help attract the investment. In the past, the fear of NAB inquiries created an environment of indecisiveness.
To a question, the interim prime minister said the government and the military had a very comfortable working environment.
He said that besides the army chief, he along with the finance minister also had a detailed sitting with industrialists in Karachi and was also planning to hold a similar meeting in Lahore.