Elections to take place simultaneously in October or November: PM

Cabinet decides to table provision of Rs21 billion funds' summary to ECP in Parliament

Shehbaz says Supreme Court can give verdicts but has no right to arbitrate n Coalition parties repose full confidence in Shehbaz’s leadership n Express strong resentment over top court's observations against PMn Removing an elected PM from office through bogus process of contempt of court is an unpardonable crime: ruling alliance.

ISLAMABAD    -    Prime Minister Sheh­baz Sharif Wednesday said that the Parlia­ment would take a deci­sion regarding the elec­tions as the forum had already taken legal and constitutional steps to address the pervading challenges.

The prime minis­ter while addressing a meeting of the coa­lition parties said that in the recent past, the meetings were held to discuss the challenges and the remedial mea­sures, and a joint ses­sion of the Parliament also took legal and con­stitutional steps in that regard. It was the gov­ernment’s political and moral obligation to ac­cept the Parliament’s decision, he added. As far as the talks for evolv­ing a consensus on a sin­gle election date were concerned, he said there was an “overwhelming opinion among the coalition parties that the doors to dia­logue should remain open. And there was also an opinion that a parliamentary committee might play a role in that regard as the government desired to evolve a consensus on the elec­tion date and did not want to impede the process just to sat­isfy its ego, he added.

PM Shehbaz said despite the Parliament’s decision not to ac­cept the three-member bench, the Supreme Court wanted to move forward with the same bench. However, the coalition parties were unanimous that they would accept the 4-3 ver­dict of the apex court bench and not 2-3.

The Supreme Court, he said, should not be given the right to arbitrate as it was there to only give verdicts as per law and the Constitution. He said the coalition parties were unanimous that the elections would be held in October or November after the incum­bent government complet­ed its term on August 13. The prime minister said instead of suggesting the solutions, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leadership tried to exploit the country’s challenging situa­tion and also asked its provin­cial finance ministers to turn down the International Mon­etary Fund’s conditions to im­pede the agreement.

Moreover the party also tried to create a chaos and di­vision within the society, he added. “Even the armed forces and their leadership were not spared as some PTI agents from abroad were playing a negative role in that regard,” he added.


On the other hand, leaders of coalition parties in the gov­ernment unanimously decided that elections will be held si­multaneously across the coun­try after completion of consti­tutional term of the incumbent government.

The decision was taken at a high-level consultative meeting of heads of all parties in the co­alition government held in Is­lamabad on Wednesday with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in the chair. Pakistan Democrat­ic Movement (PDM) chief Mau­lana Fazl-ur-Rehman, Chairman Pakistan People’s Party Bila­wal Bhutto Zardari and lead­ers of other parties attended the meeting. The meeting dis­cussed the overall situation of the country and especially the issues emanating from verdicts of Supreme Court’s controver­sial benches regarding the hold­ing of elections in the country.

The meeting reposed full con­fidence in the leadership of Prime Minister Shehbaz Shar­if. Maintaining that the author­ity to take all national decisions rests with the Prime Minister, the meeting reiterated the re­solve to support all decisions by the Prime Minister.

The meeting clarified that the ruling parties have already started the process of political consultation within themselves regarding transparent, free and impartial elections in the coun­try on a single day therefore Su­preme Court’s mediatory role in this purely political matter is in­appropriate. 

The meeting noted that the process of dialogue, consulta­tion and consensus lies within the exclusive domain of politi­cal parties and they have been doing it successfully for years. It unanimously decided to keep the matter within the same am­bit and brooded over the future strategy for taking the ongo­ing consultation process to the next stage. Discussing the Su­preme Court’s verdict of 19th of this month, the meeting de­plored that the apex court’s or­der that federal government should release money without the approval of the Parliament ignores the basic scheme of Constitution. The meeting also expressed strong resentment over the Court’s observation that the Prime Minister has lost the confidence of the House and termed these observations as condemnable and tantamount to insult of the Parliament and office of the Prime Minister. 

The meeting observed that the Supreme Court should re­spect the Parliament and opin­ion of the House which stands with the Prime Minister and has full confidence in him. 

The meeting also discussed the audios of former Chief Jus­tice of Supreme Court Saqib Nis­ar, lawyer Khawaja Tariq Rahim and his wife and strongly con­demned the conversation. The meeting stated that these au­dios have strengthened the im­pression that the decisions are not being made according to the constitution but reek of person­al grudges, likes and dislikes. 

The meeting also strongly condemned the conversation in the audios regarding imposi­tion of martial law in the coun­try terming it an undemocrat­ic mindset. The meeting noted that former Chief Justice Saqib Nisar and Khawaja Tariq Rahim have already acknowledged the conversation revealed in the audio which leaves no doubt that the former Chief Justice is guilty of conspiring against an elected Prime Minister and a democratically elected coali­tion government. 

It said removing an elect­ed Prime Minister from office through a bogus, unconstitu­tional and illegal process of con­tempt of court is a grave and unpardonable crime. The meet­ing declared that after these au­dios, the real factors behind the controversial verdicts of three and eight member benches Su­preme Court have become clear. Therefore the resolutions of the Parliament in this regard should be implemented.


The Federal Cabinet meet­ing chaired by Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif on Wednesday approved referring of the Finance Ministry’s sum­mary to the Parliament for pro­vision of Rs 21 billion to the Election Commission of Paki­stan (ECP)for holding of general elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces. 

The cabinet also approved fi­nancing facility for electric bikes and rickshaws for increasing their common use. A loan of Rs 500,000 would be available un­der the Prime Minister’s Youth Business and Agriculture Loan Scheme at zero mark-up, which would help in saving significant­ly the country’s spending made on the import of costly fuel. The meeting expressed its deep grief and sorrow over loss of precious lives in a blast in the Count­er Terrorism Department Po­lice Station, Kabal, Swat, and of­fered Fateha for the martyrs and prayed for the early recovery of the injured, the PM Office Media Wing said in a press release. 

The prime minister direct­ed the Ministry of Interior for inclusion of a Federal Govern­ment representative in the in­vestigation process of the CTD Swat blast. He also directed for grant of similar Shuhada pack­age to the deceased in the blast as had been given to those of the Peshawar Police Lines. 

The cabinet gave a nod to the legislation over Invest Pakistan initiative on the recommenda­tion of the Board of Investment. Under the legislation, an ‘Invest­ment Pakistan’ office would be established under the BOI that would function under public-pri­vate partnership. The proposed legislation would help ensure provision of investment-friend­ly services, it was added. The meeting also sanctioned ap­pointment of Syedain Raza Zaidi, a Grade 21 officer of Inland Rev­enue, on deputation as Karachi Port Trust chairman on the rec­ommendation of the Ministry of Maritime Affairs. The cabinet approved guidelines for carrying out amendments under its earli­er decision of 08-11-2017. Under the decision, it was made manda­tory for all the ministries and di­visions to carry out amendments in their relevant acts and rules by replacing the words ‘Federal Government’ with ‘appropriate authorities’ for usage. The meet­ing ratified the decisions of the Economic Coordination Commit­tee (ECC) on April 13. These de­cisions included declaration of Angor Adda Custom Station in South Waziristan as ‘Export Land Route’ for Afghanistan and the Central Asian States.

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