No role for Army in caretaker set-up in Pakistan

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Islamabad, Oct 29: No former Army general would be appointed at the head of a caretaker government in Pakistan, media reports said.

It has also been decided that the federal and provincial cabinets would not comprise armed forces personnel and intelligence agencies have been issued orders not to interfere in the upcoming general elections, The News quoted highly placed sources as saying.

President Pervez Musharraf will announce a date for holding elections in the country simultaneously with the appointment of a caretaker prime minister in the second week of November.

The Election Commission will announce the schedule for the polls in the third week of the same month. In all probability, elections for the national and provincial assemblies would be held on the same day, and polling day will fall in the second week of January next year, the paper reported.

The President has asked the intelligence agencies not to contact any candidate or any political leader for any purpose other than stipulated in their charter of professional duties. They have been asked to concentrate on security-related matters and law and order situation, the sources said.

A high-level meeting is scheduled for next week to take stock of the relevant subjects and overall situation regarding the upcoming polls. Besides the President, Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz, President's Chief of Staff General Hamid Javaid, President's close confidant and Secretary, National Security Council (NSC) Tariq Aziz Chaudhary, Attorney General Malik Muhammad Qayyum, Law and Justice Minister Zahid Hamid, President's media advisor Major General Rashid Qureshi and the provincial chief secretaries will also join the deliberations.

The government has also decided to facilitate international observers monitoring the polls and the world media would be given permission to cover electioneering.

No political party or group has yet come out with its amendments/proposals for the projected code of conduct that the EC announced last week.


UNI

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