Need to adhere to code of conduct

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Caretaker interior minister Mohammad Azam Khan has expressed the fear that the growing rift within the ranks of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) can lead to clashes in Karachi during the general elections slated for July 25. Talking to a private channel on Sunday the caretaker interior minister Mr. Azam Khan said that there is peace in the metropolis right now but there are apprehensions that the split with the MQM could lead to clashes. “Politicians should refrain from personal attacks against each other,” the caretaker minister said adding that the election process across the country will be monitored from a control room in Islamabad. Referring to highly sensitive areas, Khan said, “Some districts of Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are sensitive”. “We will hold a meeting through National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA) with heads of political parties on the code of conduct for the election”, the minister said. The elections commission of Pakistan has already issued a comprehensive document regarding the code of conduct for the general elections. The document provides dos and don’ts guideline for all including political parties, contesting candidates, polling agents and other stakeholders. If this code of conduct is implemented in letter and spirit and adhered to by the political parties during the elections, it is for sure that there will be no electoral violence in any part of the country. Contesting candidates and their supporters must strictly avoid incitement to violence or resort to violence during pre-poll campaign or during polling hours. The ECP code of conduct clearly says that the political parties or contenting candidates must avoid using any derogatory remark or foul language against each other that might lead to violence or resort to violence. On one hand it is the sole responsibility of the election commission to ensure implementation of election code of conduct while on the other all political parties, candidates, election and polling agents must abide by the code of conduct so that the elections could be held in a transparent and peaceful atmosphere. As we stand on the threshold of a new era where people of the country will be witnessing a transition of power from one elected government to the next there is dire need that all political forces must show sagacity and political acumen to make this democratic exercise a success by refraining from any such activities having potential to vitiate peaceful atmosphere that is pre-requisite for holding free, fair and transparent elections in the country.

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