ISLAMABAD - To cope with the fast-changing developments on the political horizon of the country, Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf has called the meeting of the heads of coalition parties today to finalise election date and strategy for dealing Tahirul Qadri's sit-in.It is expected that the coalition partners meeting at the Prime Minister's House on Thursday would discuss the ways and means to deal with the participants of the sit-in at the Qauid-e-Azam Avenue as the coalition partners are not on same page for tackling the marchers.Sources in the government say that to ease down the mounting pressure on the ruling alliance, the government is likely to announce the electiondate and the roadmap for selecting the caretaker prime minister. PPP sources believed that the announcement of election date, as demanded by the opposition parties after a meeting in Raiwind, would release much of the pressure on the government, besides dousing the enthusiasm of the tiring crowd at the Quaid-e-Azam Avenue.Sources said that the PPP leadership had taken the PML-N on board before finalisingthe election date and both the parties agreed to holding the elections for national and provincial assemblies on same day. The National Assembly along with four provincial assemblies would be dissolved on March 16 and the elections would most likely be held in the first week of May as announced by Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Syed Khursheed Shah.According to the requirements of the Election Commission of Pakistan, the minimum period required for holding general elections after the dissolution of assemblies is 45 days.So the elections could be held anytime after May 2, if the assemblies were dissolved on March 16. It is stipulated in the Constitution of Pakistan that general elections shall be held within 60 days of the dissolution of assemblies.The other major issue confronting the coalition government is the presence of a large number of men, women and children in the capital for three days and refused to call of their sit-in until the acceptance of the demands presented by Minhajul Quran Chairman Tahirul Qadri.The government dubbed the demands as unconstitutional. PPP is facing problems in dealing with the protesters as couple of parties in the coalition government are divided on the strategy to tackle the issue. The Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid and Muttahida Quami Movement are against crackdown or forceful removal of protesters from the venue while the PPP wanted to get the area cleared at any cost.PML-Q President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain held meeting with Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf at the Prime Minister's House on Wednesday in which he opposed the use of forceand cautioned the PM over such action.On the other hand, Interior Minister Rehman Malik and some hawkish elements in the ruling alliance were pressing the prime minister to allow using force against the protesters.In an attempt to disperse the people, the fire tenders were moved near the venue of sit-in on Tuesday night to pour water on the demonstrators but the PPP leadership did not approve the action.According to sources, Shujaat was annoyed at the way Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira had dissociated the government from the meetings Shujaat and Chaudhry Pervez Elahi held with Tahirul Qadri on the request of President Asif Ali Zardari.Sources in the PML-Q said that the party could even part ways with the government if force would be used against the protesters, adding thatthe party had conveyed their decision to the government as well. “We don't want another Lal Masjid like incident just ahead of general elections," sources quoted senior party leaders as saying and added that Shujaat would prefer to quit the government over siding with those using force against the peaceful protesters.Sources said that Shujaat once again offered the government to mediate negotiation between Tahirul Qadri and the government. “As part of his strategy he could meet with Minhajul Quran chief again sometime in the wee hours of Thursday.” In the wake of strong opposition from two of the partners, the PPP led coalition government would talk on the issue during today’s meeting and,with the help of its partners,would try to find out some middle course to convince Qadri to call of his sit-in.