UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Pakistan's interim prime minister said he expects parliamentary elections to take place in the new year, dismissing the possibility that the country's powerful military would manipulate the results to ensure that jailed former premier Imran Khan's party doesn't win as “absolutely absurd.”
Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar said it's the Election Commission that is going to conduct the vote, not the military, and Khan appointed the commission's current chief, so “why would he turn in any sense of the word against him?”
In a wide-ranging interview with The Associated Press on Friday, Kakar also lashed out at India for touting itself as the world's largest democracy while refusing to hold a democratic referendum in disputed Kashmir so its people can decide their future. And he said leaders in the region are discussing holding a forum to consider what changes Afghanistan's Taliban rulers would need to make before any country takes “a huge step” and recognizes their government.
Pakistan has been in deepening political turmoil since April 2022 when Khan was removed from office following a no-confidence vote in Parliament. He was arrested in early August on corruption charges and sentenced to three years in prison, later suspended though he still remains in jail. The country is also facing one of the worst economic crises in its history and recovering from last summer's devastating…