ISLAMABAD, March 16 (Xinhua) -- Pakistani Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf expressed the confidence late Saturday that the election process will be completed smoothly and amicably, local media reported.
In his farewell address to the nation over Radio Pakistan and Pakistan Television networks on completion of government term, the Prime Minister appealed to all political parties, national institutions, civil society and the media to play their roles for peaceful elections.
He said that the national and provincial assemblies' elections will be held on the same day and that all arrangements have been made for free, fair and transparent elections.
He said that new computerized voter lists have been prepared and there will be no chance of election fraud in the presence of political parties, independent election commission, judiciary, effective media and the active civil society.
The Prime Minister said that he is making efforts to reach an understanding with the opposition on the caretaker set-up.
The speech shows that the deadlock between the government and the main opposition party over the nomination of a caretaker Prime Minister still exists as Raja Pervez Ashraf did not say anything about the agreement on the issue.
The speech was mainly focused on the performance of Prime Minister's Pakistan Peoples Party and its allies.
"We have completed our constitutional term and will be going to the peoples' court," he said.
He said completion of term by the government is an extraordinary and historic event, adding that the democratic process went through various difficulties, challenges and trials in its journey.
The Prime Minister said that constitutional transfer of power by an elected government is a victory of democratic forces, thanking all democratic forces and institutions that played their role in strengthening democracy.
Referring to the situation of the country in 2008 when the present government took over, he said the state was facing dreaded crisis and the country was almost isolated at the international level.
"Economy was in bad shape. There was energy crisis and foreign exchange reserves had depleted to dangerous levels. The country was facing food shortages and its survival was threatened by terrorism."
"The government remained victim of negative propaganda and concocted allegations," he said.
He defended foreign policy of his government and said that relations were improved with India and Afghanistan and Pakistan signed the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project to resolve the energy crisis. He said Pakistan was faced with isolation but his government revived the credibility of Pakistan with aggressive policies.
The Prime Minister acknowledged that the government did not do enough during the last five years. "However, it lessened the problems it inherited and strengthened roots of the democracy so that no one could ambush it in future."
ISLAMABAD, March 15 (Xinhua) -- Pakistani government and the main opposition are likely to head to a possible deadlock over the nomination of caretaker prime minister as the government has only one day to complete its term, local media reported Friday.
A caretaker prime minister will take over on the dissolution of the assemblies on March 16. However, the government and the opposition Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) have not yet agreed on a consensus candidate. Both sides had proposed names for the slot. Full story