ISLAMABAD - Federal Minister for Information, Broadcasting, Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Barrister Syed Ali Zafar on Friday said that the caretaker government would fulfil its responsibilities to hold fair, transparent, impartial and timely general election, and preparations in that connection were completed to a large extent.

In an interview to Pakistan Television, he said that the caretaker government during its two months tenure would leave guidelines for the next government about the existing challenges in different sectors.

The Minister said that it was their obligation to assist the Election Commission in holding fair and transparent elections so that a new elected government was formed in time.

Besides running the day-to-day affairs, sometimes decisions of urgent nature had to be taken, but the government would not take any decision which restrained the next government, or stopped it from changing decisions, he added.

He said that preparations had been almost finalised for the upcoming elections and a lot of work had been done in that regard and decisions were being taken on daily basis.

For fair and transparent elections, changes had been made in bureaucracy at the Federal and provincial levels, he said.

The caretaker government was taking thoughtful decisions in line with demands of justice and fairness, he said.

The Minister said that the merger of Federally Administered Tribal Areas in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was an important milestone and the most important and far reaching event of the century, adding, the jurisdiction of Supreme Court and High Court had been extended to FATA and the law applicable on a Pakistani citizen would also be for people of FATA.

He said that the Committee formed by the Prime Minister was working to remove obstacles in setting up of administrative structure and district courts and for imposition of taxes and provision of services in FATA.

Urban centers and administrative units were established in FATA through a process, he said, adding the laws would be applied in a phased manner and soon the process of FATA merger would be completed.

Ali Zafar said that the Committee formed to facilitate the merger process was working on fast track and was closely looking at all the issues concerning FATA and finding solutions.

The Committee was determined to provide all possible facilities in FATA, he added.

To a question, he said that merger of FATA into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was a significant event of the century as people of FATA for centuries were denied their rights, which were enjoyed by all Pakistanis.

He paid tribute to the Parliamentarians for enacting the law for merger of FATA into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

He said, “I believe until the government gives access to information to the people in a transparent manner, corruption and other problems cannot be eradicated. When we feel the responsibility to inform the public, it will be easy to do things.”

The Minister said that under Article 19A every information should be placed before public unless it was matter of national security.

The Interior Ministry was getting reports on daily basis regarding holding of peaceful elections.

He said that the decisions to ensure foolproof security were taken on the basis of incoming reports.

He said that the higher judiciary had given verdicts about Exit Control List (ECL). The Federal Cabinet takes a decision about putting a person on Exit Control List, he said.

However, black list was different and the Federal Cabinet could not decide about it, he informed.

The Minister said that the officials of Interior Ministry could include or withdraw a name from the blacklist. Rules and regulations were needed on the matter of the blacklist, he said.

He said that an application was received from National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to put the names of Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz on the Exit Control List (ECL), adding, a Committee was reviewing the matter and a decision would be taken after fulfilling all the legal requirements.