ECP will decide on army deployment at polling stations: Habib

ECP will decide on army deployment at polling stations: Habib

ISLAMABAD, (SANA): Caretaker Interior Minister Malik Habib Khan has dismissed the notion of being a supporter of PML-N chief, a day after he termed Mian Nawaz Sharif as ‘only national leader’.

Habib Khan has come under fire over his remarks which drew anger from mainstream political parties, including PPP, ANP, MQM, PML-Q and PTI calling from his resignation.

“I have no affiliation with any political party neither I will accept anyone’s pressure. My statement was misinterpreted by some segments of media… I’m not responsible to anybody but to my conscience, the God and 20 million people of Pakistan,” Khan during a news conference alongside Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Secretary Afzal Khan,

He dismissed the impression of being a partial person in the caretaker setup.

“The focus of caretaker set up is on free and fair general elections and our ministry will carry out this responsibility,” said Khan after presiding over a meeting which reviewed law and order situation in the wake of upcoming general elections. He said 44 polling stations in Islamabad had been declared sensitive.

Replying to a question, he said a final decision regarding calling military during the May 11 elections would be taken by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP). Malik Habib said that he was impartial and his main responsibility was to conduct free and fair elections.

Habib further said that he respected all political leaders and it was the ministry’s responsibility to provide security to them.

According to the caretaker interior minister, the decision to deploy army at any polling station would be made by the Election Commission of Pakistan.

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) taking notice of caretaker Federal Interior Minister Habib Khan’s remarks favoring Nawaz Sharif sought on Tuesday records of the statement.

Earlier on Monday the Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf (PTI), Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) had demanded the resignation of caretaker Interior Minister Malik Habib Khan over a statement made in favour Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) chief Nawaz Sharif, in which he said that the PML-N leader was the only real leader in Pakistan.

Moreover Chief Election Commissioner justice (retd) Fakhruddin G. Ibrahim wrote a letter to all political parties advising them to follow the electoral code of conduct and to maintain harmony during the upcoming elections.

He added that the election process would not be allowed to be sabotaged and every possible effort would be made to establish a condusive atmosphere for the elections to take place.

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