File photo of Shahid Khaqan Abbasi. Photograph:( ANI )
Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has said the upcoming general elections would be conducted by "aliens", triggering a sharp reaction from the Election Commission which advised him to stay away from making "irresponsible statements", according to a media report.
The remarks indicate that the government is not expecting the upcoming elections to be transparent. The term 'aliens' has probably been coined for the first time in place of 'angels' and 'invisible forces' used in the past, Pak News reported.
Abbasi's words about "aliens holding election" echoed the remarks made by ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif two days ago: "Our contest is not with Pakistan Peoples Party co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chairman Imran Khan but with the aliens".
"Elections will be held by aliens, but even then we [Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz] will participate in it," the prime minister said in an informal chat with journalists during a reception hosted by Speaker of the National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq for members of the lower house.
His comments drew a sharp reaction from the Election Commission.
ECP spokesman Altaf Khan said that the commission was fully prepared to hold the elections in line with its mandate under Article 218 of the Constitution. Under the Constitution and the Elections Act 2017, the ECP was fully independent in discharge of its legal and constitutional duties, he added.
Khan said people occupying important office should desist from making such "irresponsible statements", adding that such statements were merely based on assumptions and rumours and amounted to ridiculing the Constitution, the report said.