ISLAMABAD, Sept 24, Reuter: Pakistan’s acting President Ghulam Ishaq Khan on Saturday rejected opposition calls for the sacking of the Federal and Provincial Cabinets.

But he told newspaper editors in Islamabad that every legal step would be taken to ensure Ministers could not manipulate the November 16 elections, the official news agency APP reported.

Ishaq Khan, who took office on President Mohammad ZiaulHaq death in a plane crash on August 17, said the constitution provided for the retention of interim Governments during an election campaign to keep the affairs of state going.

Virtually all opposition parties have said the fairness of the polls could not be guaranteed unless the Ministers, many of whom are candidates, were replaced in advance,

The Pakistan Muslim League headed by the powerful Chief Ministers of the four provinces and Senior Federal Ministers is widely expected to present the main challenge to Benazir Bhutto’s opposition People’s Party.

The Provincial Governments are in charge of Law and Order during the election campaign and provincial civil servants are seconded to act as electoral officials.

‘The current provincial and Federal Governments were appointed by Zia last June and have made themselves his political heirs.

Article extracted from this publication >> September 30, 1988