Aaj English TV

Wednesday, July 17, 2024  
11 Muharram 1446  

‘Foreign envoys convinced polls will be held as per constitutional mandate’

Interim Foreign Minister Jilal Abbas Jilani says a dozen agreements have been finalised with Saudi Arabia
Exclusive interview of Caretaker Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani - Rubaroo with Shaukat Piracha

Interim Foreign Minister Jilal Abbas Jilani said on Saturday that foreign ambassadors were convinced that elections in Pakistan would be held as per the constitutional mandate.

“I think the diplomatic corps, the amount of conversations we had with the people, they are also convinced that elections in Pakistan will be as per the constitutional mandate. No one has doubt on that,” he said in an interview with Shaukat Piracaha on his show Rubaroo on Aaj News.

He was responding to a query pertaining to a general perception here about US Ambassador Donald Blome’s meetings with the chief election commissioner and inspector general of police in Punjab. There was a view that he and other foreign envoys were keen to see Pakistan going to the elections and seeking a poll date.

And do the ambassadors believe the connotations that elections in Pakistan would be held by January or February, with the ECP’s decision to complete the delimitation of constituencies by November 30?

When asked about his engagements with foreign ambassadors, Jilani said: “The caretaker setup is very clear. PM yesterday told media that elections will be held within the constitutional limit and no one should have doubts.”

He went on to mention that neither Pakistan interferes in other countries matters nor other countries interfere in Pakistan’s matters. “This is our diplomatic norm and they [foreign ambassadors] don’t do this.”

When pressed, he explained that in any election diplomats have an interest in asses which political parties are taking part in the constitutional process and the candidates who are likely to get succeed.

Jilani, who has served as an ambassador in the past, shared he also had the same interest when elections were going to be held and he met with political leaders to make an assessment that was later sent to the government.

According to Jilani, the caretaker setup was fully able to fulfil its responsibility of holding elections.

Protests against exorbitant power bills

He mentioned that the caretaker setup was aware of the people’s sufferings due to the inflated power bills and the government was taking all measures to resolve the issue.

Jalil mentioned the impact of fuel prices on the rate of electricity.

“Subsidy on the electricity bills is a big issue. We have to abide by the agreements but along with that we will try to find out a solution by which the people can get some relief,” he said.

Pakistan-Saudi Arabia ties

While responding to a query, he mentioned that Saudi Arabia has always supported Pakistan and both countries have deep relations.

“We don’t have any final date of his visit,” he said when asked about the visit of the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman. “A rousing welcome will be given to him when he arrives in Pakistan.”

He was of the view that the visit was very important, adding that many Gulf states showed their interest in investment in Pakistan when the Special Investment Facilitation Council – a hybrid civil-military forum – was inaugurated.

“A dozen agreements have been finalised with Saudi Arabia. Agreements will be signed upon his [Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman] visit to Pakistan.”

He added that the Saudi leadership would keep in view Pakistan’s interests while speaking with the Indian leadership.

The interim foreign minister said that Pakistan shared a few proposals with India through backchannel diplomacy for peace efforts. But India did not respond to it.

Islamabad had demanded of Delhi to take back August 5, 2019 decision and release Kashmiri leaders arrested over the last four years.

He added that Pakistan has conveyed its concerns to the interim government of Afghanistan pertaining to the cross border attacks in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Chitral. Islamabad has demanded of Taliban government to ensure that such attacks never occurred.

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foreign minister

general elections

Jalil Abbas Jilani