Anwaarul Haq Kakar will address the UN General Assembly session in New York in September, FO sources say

 

ISLAMABAD:

Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar is expected to travel to the United States next month, Foreign Office (FO) sources told The Express Tribune on Monday.

Kakar will be accompanied by interim Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani. PM Kakar will address the UN General Assembly session in New York in September, according to sources.

Sources said that preparation for the visit was already underway as the foreign office was making efforts to arrange meetings with world leaders at the sidelines of the UNGA session.

Although the mandate of the caretaker prime minister is limited, the foreign office has advised him to travel to New York for the annual session of the UNGA.

 

 

PM Kakar will present Pakistan’s perspective on key regional and international issues. Sources said the rationale behind Kakar’s address to the UNGA stems from the fact that it is an important international event and Pakistan must not downgrade its participation just because there is no elected government.

Since he will be accompanied by FM Jilani, Kakar will likely hold bilateral meetings with world leaders, particularly with friendly countries. Other countries would also be keen to hear from the caretaker prime minister given that he has to supervise the general elections.

The West particularly the European Union and the US are thought to be in favour of smooth transfer of power from one elected government to another. “They don’t want any delay or delay beyond a certain point,” according to sources.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, while congratulating the caretaker prime minister, did stress the need for free, fair and transparent elections.

But prospects of the general elections this year seem slim as the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has decided to redraw the boundaries in the light of a new census approved by the Council of Common Interest (CCI) during the last days of PDM government.

ECP insists that it is bound by the law to first conduct delimitation based on the new census before the next elections. The entire exercise will take four months and the schedule of the elections will be announced afterwards.

This simply means that elections this year are not possible barring any intervention from the Supreme Court. Against this backdrop, it is believed that the caretaker premier will have an opportunity during his visit to New York to explain his government’s stance.

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