LAHORE: Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar on Tuesday reiterated that Pakistan was persistently raising the Palestine issue at the global fora and recent horrible, condemnable and inappropriate aggression by Israel was leading to human catastrophe.
During an interaction with the media persons during his visit to Mayo Hospital, he said that recently Pakistan co-hosted the Organization of Islamic Cooperation Organization (OIC) emergency session along with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia over the issue.
The prime minister further said during his interactions with different global leaders, Chinese leadership and the international media, he had highlighted the issue and in unequivocal terms, conveyed the sentiments and stance of the government and Pakistani nation. Pakistan would continue playing its role over the issue till its resolution, he reassured.
Considering the current crises, he said Pakistan demanded immediate ceasefire and opening up of humanitarian corridor.
The caretaker prime minister said Palestine was a historical and chronic issue but there was no reason for the inappropriate aggression exhibited by Israel.
To a question, he reiterated that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) was a constitutional body that would give a specific date for holding of the general elections in the country.
He said the delimitation process was a constitutional requirement and the previous parliament had done legislation over the issue while the Constitution mandated the procedure to be executed.
The prime minister assured that the interim set-up was ready to assist the ECP in the process, adding it was the fundamental mandate of the ECP to give a date but the caretaker government could not dictate it in this regard.
About participation of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf in the upcoming elections, he said neither the ECP had placed any restrictions on PTI nor there was any move to dismantle it as a political party.
Moreover, it was also the domain of the ECP to allocate election symbols, he added.
He further clarified that the caretaker set-up would not resort to any illegal and unconstitutional acts.
The caretaker prime minister further elaborated that it was the government’s policy that all the big and small registered political parties had the equal rights and opportunities to contest the upcoming polls.
He said that they did not see any hindrance to the political activities in the country.
Those who were raising apprehensions over provision of level playing field also have the freedom to make such claims, he added.
To a query regarding the repatriation of the illegal migrants, the prime minister said they had categorized the illegal aliens into three groups. There were around 1.7 million registered refugees over whom the government was fulfilling its international obligations, but there were foreigners who, without any documentation, had been living in Pakistan for years and doing business, he said, adding they had not been visible their system.
He said that there was no perpetual ban on these foreigners, as they could return after completing their valid and legal travel documents and visas. They could come to Pakistan for education or business purposes and the government would facilitate them.
While the third category fell in the Identity theft and over whom they had devised a mechanism to remove them from the database, he added.
The prime minister emphasized that the government was focusing on the regulated movement.
Responding to another question, he said that among these foreigners who had any self-claims over businesses and properties, they could approach the relevant legal forums and institutions as the government’s policy was not meant for usurpation of their assets.
The prime minister said that due to the government’s measures of crackdown on smuggling and illicit currency trade, positive impacts had been caused on inflation with tangible reduction in the US dollar and petroleum products rates.
The US dollar was now trading at around Rs 278 instead Rs 330 which also helped reduced the country’s circular debt, he added.
Due to crackdown on illegal smuggling, especially under Afghan transit trade, the local industry had been encouraged which was now returning to productivity, he said, adding that economic indicators were showing positive trend.
He also stressed upon projecting the history and culture of Pakistan to the outer world to boost tourism sector in the country and lauded the provincial government for taking important initiatives to attract religious tourism and vice versa.