Musharraf orders non-interference of spy agencies in general elections

November 14th, 2007 - 3:00 am ICT by admin  
Musharraf has also decided to not appoint any former Pakistan Army General as caretaker Prime Minister and added that no army personnel would be a part of the caretaker cabinet at the Federal or provincial level.

“The President has asked the intelligence agencies not to establish contact with 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 News quoted sources, as saying.

Musharraf is likely to announce the election date simultaneously with the appointment of a caretaker Prime Minister in the second week of November, the sources said.

The Election Commission will then announce the schedule for the elections in the third week of November. It is also likely that elections for the national and provincial assemblies would be held on the same day, and polling day may fall in the second week of January next year, the daily reported.

Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz, Chief of Staff Hamid Javaid, Musharraf’s close confidante and National Security Council (NSC) secretary 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 would attend a high-level meeting scheduled for next week to take stock of the relevant subjects.

The Pakistan Government has also decided to facilitate international observers for polls monitoring, and the international media would also be allowed to cover electioneering in Pakistan.

The Press Information Department under its Principal Officer Rashid Ahmad Chaudhry has already been instructed by the government to make available a task force for relevant tasks, the sources added.

The code of conduct after the notification of the polling date would come into effect immediately after the EC announces poll schedule and the commission will place a ban on the transfers and postings of government officials.

Parties and individuals have been asked to submit their proposals for model code of conduct by next Saturday and the commission will then consider the proposed amendments in its meeting to be held in the following week. (ANI)

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