No restriction on political activities, assures Aziz

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Islamabad, Oct 25 (UNI) Pakistan Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz has said there will be no restriction on political activity during the upcoming general elections and ''full campaigning'' will allowed.

A proposed move by the government to ban rallies and processions as part of the draft code of conduct, citing security reasons, has attracted criticism by various political parties, most prominently by the Pakistan People's Party.

PPP chief Benazir Bhutto said it was wrong on the part of the government to make such a decision.

Interacting with foreign correspondents based in the national capital, he said the government welcomes free and open political activities and is trying to develop a code of conduct for elections in consultations with political parties and the Election Commission.

''Every one will have to follow the code in view of the security challenge,'' he added.

''So this is campaigning period and season. We have started receiving applications from the desirous candidates and received several thousands of them already,'' he said.

The Prime Minister pointed out that it was for the first time in the history of the country that Parliament will complete its five-year term on November 15.

He said an interim government would be in place after November 15 to conduct elections.

Asked if the government would allow former prime minister Nawaz Sharif to return for providing a level playing field for all parties in the forthcoming elections, the Prime Minister said the PML (N) leader's case was different as he went abroad willingly under an accord.


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