ISLAMABAD - Minister for Information Arif Nizami has assured that transfer of power would be made to the next government within the stipulated timeframe given for it in the constitution and made it loud and clear that no one could even think of stealing the mandate of any political party in the presence of the incumbent caretaker government. Talking to media persons on the occasion of the opening of PID Media Cell for general elections 2013 on Friday, he said that caretaker setup has silenced its critics with its neutral approach and laid foundation for holding free, fair and transparent elections in the country.

He said that Pakistan was created with the power of vote and it would thrive and make progress through masses' participation in the electoral process.

To a question he said that all-out efforts would be made to make foolproof security arrangements for May 11 and army could be deployed for the security of some of the highly sensitive polling stations if needed.

He further said that the deployment of security personnel would be completed by Friday night and caretaker government was in constant touch with all the four provincial governments in this connection.

He hoped that the country would see a major surge in the voters turnout on May 11, and asked the voters through the media to come out of their homes on the polling day and exercise their right to vote. He said that elections were part of the battle for the survival of the country.

He said that it was achievement of the caretaker government that the stage was set for free and fair elections, as the terrorists' plan to sabotage the same had been thwarted effectively. The government would hand over the affairs of the country to the elected government as per the constitution and would not cling to power even for a single day.

Responding to another question, Nizami said that though the law and order was a provincial subject, the federal government has created harmony among all stakeholders. Referring to the kidnapping of the son of former Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, the minister said that the prime minister had contacted Gilani and it was a good sign that despite the incident, the PPP had not talked about boycotting the elections. The minister urged media to play its role to convince the people at large to exercise their right to vote as the country was at its crossroads and it could not afford any mistake. Some elements, he said, had been spreading rumours about delay in elections but with the grace of God all such negative propaganda has died down now. To a question, he said that coming elections in the country would play a key role in running the affairs of the state as per vision of the Quaid-i-Azam and Allama Iqbal.

About the PID Media Centre, he said that all facilities would be provided to media persons covering the elections.

Principal Information Officer Imran Gardezi briefed the media persons about the facilities being provided to journalists at the PID media centre for general elections.

Secretary Information Agha Nadeem and other senior officers of the ministry were also present on the occasion.