Pakistan’s prime minister urges PTI leaders to inform constituents that inflation in the country is lower than that of other states
Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday stressed that Pakistan’s next general elections—due for 2023—will be conducted with electronic voting machines (EVMs) at all costs.
While presiding over a meeting of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)’s core committee in Islamabad, he also urged the participants to assure overseas Pakistanis that the government would ensure their right to vote. Currently, overseas Pakistanis must return to Pakistan to vote in elections; the government is hoping to implement an internet voting system that would allow them to exercise their right to vote from their place of residence.
“We will give overseas Pakistanis the right to vote, so they should be ready to participate in the next polls,” he was quoted as saying during the meeting.
Earlier on Thursday, the prime minister also met a delegation of his party’s allied Muttahida Qaumi Movement and reiterated his belief that EVMs would encourage transparency in the election process. “There is a need to raise awareness about the positive effects of the electronic voting machines on the electoral process in Pakistan,” he said. The MQM leaders, meanwhile, voiced concern over the EVMs, stressing that there were issues that should be resolved before the devices could be used in general elections.
On rampant inflation in Pakistan, the prime minister sought to dismiss public concerns by claiming that it was even higher in many other countries. He urged PTI leaders to inform their constituents that they should compare food prices in Pakistan with those in the international markets.
As per routine, these discussions did not factor in the significantly lower purchasing power of the average Pakistani citizen, nor did it consider that Pakistan experienced double-digit inflation even during the peak of the coronavirus pandemic, unlike most other countries that had seen drops in prices of essential commodities.
Marking the first of Rabiul Awwal, the prime minister said the entire nation would celebrate Eid Miladun Nabi for an entire week this year starting from the 12th of Rabiul Awwal. Miladun Nabi is scheduled to take place on Oct. 19 this year. He also urged the committee members to complete development projects expeditiously and inform their constituents about the government’s progress. He backed the speedy polling for local body elections in the country and tasked top PTI officials to visit constituencies in Punjab to lay the groundwork for the polls.
The core committee meeting also discussed the prevailing situation in Afghanistan and considered various strategies that could be adopted to deal with looming crises in the neighboring state.