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National

July 12, 2018

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Speculations about not holding polls baseless: Askari

LAHORE: A delegation of All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS) led by its secretary general Sarmad Ali called on caretaker Chief Minister Hasan Askari at the CM Office.

During the meeting Wednesday, ‘Fateha’ was offered for the martyrs of Peshawar tragedy and early recovery of the injured. The meeting also condemned the Peshawar blast. The chief minister said best possible safety arrangements were being made in the wake of security threats.

Any speculations about not holding elections are unnecessary and totally baseless. Matters relating to the elections and other relevant issues will be settled with mutual understanding and in consultation with the political parties, he added. The caretaker government is facing the triangular challenge of elections, security and day-to-day issues. District administration is responsible for election-related matters and their arrangements at the grassroots. Caretaker government will prove its neutrality with its actions.

He said the caretaker government is committed to ensuring law and order during elections. Everyone has to play its role for elimination of terrorism. Equal opportunities will be provided to the political parties and peaceful atmosphere will be arranged for the people in elections. He said the caretaker government is totally neutral and apolitical and will remain so. “We are working with our limited mandate and framework of the Election Commission, he added. Media should create public awareness during the elections. We are not oblivious of problems of the newspapers industry and have sympathies towards media workers.

He said merit and transparency will be ensured in the distribution of advertisements. Payments of outstanding dues of the advertisements will be made soon.  Sarmad Ali said DGPR Department of the Punjab government is highly organised and best institution, and Punjab has the unique honour of appointing a woman as the DGPR. Provincial Information Minister Ahmed Waqas Riaz, Information Secretary Bilal Ahmed Butt, DGPR Ms Nabeela Ghazanfar and others were also present.

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