Pakistan's interim PM warns against anarchy and disorder after allegations of poll rigging

Those who have concerns regarding electoral irregularities can pursue legal recourse, says Kakar


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Supporters of Imran Khan wave flags as they protest demanding free and fair results of the elections in Peshawar. — Reuters
Supporters of Imran Khan wave flags as they protest demanding free and fair results of the elections in Peshawar. — Reuters

Published: Sat 17 Feb 2024, 9:16 PM

While peaceful protest and assembly are fundamental rights, "anarchy and disorder" will not be tolerated in Pakistan, interim Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar warned on Saturday, as jailed former premier Imran Khan's party launched a nationwide agitation against alleged rigging in recent polls.

Kakar acknowledged that political parties and individuals have raised their concerns following the February 8 general elections. At the same time, he said anarchy and disorder were not the way to address those concerns.

"The recently conducted general elections in the country have been a step towards promoting democracy," he said in a post on X.

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Post-elections, it is imperative that all stakeholders realise that victory and defeat are inherent aspects of democratic processes, he wrote.

"Parties and individuals who harbour any concerns regarding electoral irregularities are encouraged to pursue legal recourse through the available channels. Pakistan's legislative, judicial, and executive branches are resilient and stand ready to deliver impartial justice to all," he emphasised.

While peaceful protest and assembly are fundamental rights, any form of agitation, violence, or incitement for vigilantism will not be condoned and law would take its course without any hesitation, he wrote.

"Anarchy and disorder will not be tolerated at this crucial time," Kakar warned, adding that this only serves to advance the agenda for hostile forces, both domestic and foreign, to exploit and create grave law and order challenges.

Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party has called for country-wide protests against the "unprecedented, massive, brazen rigging" in the general elections.

It has said that "PTI’s win of 180 National Assembly seats and a two-thirds majority in Parliament, was cut down to half," the party said in a statement.

More than 90 independent candidates backed by PTI has won the election and emerged as the largest group in the National Assembly. However, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and the Pakistan Peoples Party have formed a post-election alliance and were poised to form a coalition government with the help of four other political parties.

The caretaker government implores patience, as political parties engage in consultations to form governments at both the federal and provincial levels, under democratic traditions and norms, he assured the country.

"We hope that this process concludes as early as possible with mutual understanding and respect," the caretaker prime minister wrote.


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