A delegation of the European Union led by Michael Gahler, Member of the European Parliament met PML-N Chairman Raja Muhammad Zafar ul Haq and Secretary General Iqbal Zafar Jhagra in PML-N Secretariat at Islamabad to exchange views on holding of free and fair elections in Pakistan. The European Union delegation comprised of Mr. Pierre Mayandon Deputy head of delegation of the European Union in Pakistan, Mr. Eva Atanasova Development Advisor Government Democratisation and Michael Meyer Resende Executive Director of Democracy Reporting International (DRI).
Raja Zafar ul Haq after welcoming the delegation expressed his pleasure on the concern and role of European Union towards improving electoral process both in the 2008 elections and the forthcoming General Elections in Pakistan. He apprised the EU delegation of PML-N’s role for the stability of democracy and the party’s efforts for holding free and fair elections in meetings both at the parliamentary level, at government’s level and specifically with the Election Commission of Pakistan. PML-N is still continuing to ensure to find ways of establishing accessible and reliable mechanism for updating and maintaining error free electoral rolls and complete transparency of the electoral process.
Mr. Michael Gahler leader of the delegation after expressing his thanks explained the purpose of their visit pertaining to key reforms for the forth coming general elections based on international covenant on civil and political rights (ICCPR) which Pakistan ratified in 2010. Mr. Gahler remarked that European Union and its Parliament desires development of democracy in other parts of the world and continue with their recommendations in the last elections (2008) and overcome the existing deficits including access of all stake holders to a neutral or objective institutions. He expressed his hopes that the election commission will find non partisan ways for holding free and fair elections and to settle all pre and post electoral disputes in the shortest possible time. They also stressed on establishing a conducive atmosphere and understanding between political parties and their workers in order to avoid violence in the electoral process.