ISLAMABAD - Caretaker Federal Information Minister Barrister Syed Ali Zafar Wednesday said the caretaker government would do its utmost to ensure free, fair, transparent and peaceful general election.

In an interview with Pakistan Television, he said there were concerns that elections could be delayed over election forms, delimitation of constituencies and issues due to Fata reforms. However, the elections would not be delayed over these legal issues as these would be settled, he added. The minister said Supreme Court solved the issue by ordering that an affidavit would be added to the nomination forms. This removed objections of the Election Commission as well as the candidates.

Ali Zafar said delimitation of constituencies was necessary as the constituencies should be compact and not in the shape of islands. There were some mistakes in delimitation of constituencies which needed to be rectified, he added.

He said the caretaker government, formed for a certain period, would facilitate the Election Commission. He said according to the Constitution, the elections should be held within a period of 60 days. “Delimitation of constituencies was important, if it was not done, it will deprive the voters of their right.”

Zafar said the caretaker government would only look into the short term issues and not take permanent decisions, adding it was not their mandate to take long term decisions.

Talking about security in elections, he said armed forces and other security forces would fulfill their constitutional obligations, if the need arises.

He said all the political parties would be given level playing field to run their campaign in the elections. Article 19 of the Constitution gave fundamental right of freedom of expression. As per that article nobody could give statement against the army, judiciary and behave indecently and immorally, he added.

He said power load shedding was an issue and all the information would be taken from the Ministry of Water and Power and facts and figures would be put before the public.

The Cabinet extensively discussed the issue of economy, he said adding: "Our economy has a lot of potential and we can go a long way."

The minister said a judgment about fair polls could be made when the elections were over. “At the end we want that our conduct of elections should be appreciated.”

Zafar said the government was willing to listen to the criticism as it would help it perform better. He said law and order was a provincial subject and the federal government would continuously consult with the provincial governments on daily basis.