NA dissolution: PM to send summary to President Alvi today


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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif would send a summary to President Dr Arif Alvi seeking the dissolution of the National Assembly (NA) on Wednesday (today).

In an interview with a private news channel, he said as per law, if the president did not take up the summary within 48 hours, it would stand implemented and the NA would be dissolved.

Regarding the caretaker set-up, the PM said consultations are underway with coalition parties to agree on a neutral interim prime minister, who would be acceptable to the people.

He added that the decision would be a collective one and after finalising the names, he would hold the first meeting with Opposition Leader Raja Riaz.

PM Shehbaz also said all political parties unanimously want elections as early as possible and dismissed talks of a possible delay in polls as mere speculations.

He stressed the need for a balanced and inclusive approach to civil-military relations and called for all national institutions to cooperate with each other, albeit within their constitutional limits.

The confirmation of the decision to dissolve the NA from the premier means that the government’s term would be cut short prematurely on August 9 (today), paving the way for a caretaker setup to take up the reins after consultations with the opposition leader.

The farewell session of the National Assembly has been scheduled for today, during which the prime minister will address the assembly. Following the dissolution, PM Shehbaz and opposition leader Raja Riaz will engage in final talks to consult on the appointment of the caretaker prime minister.

Once the assembly is dissolved, PM Shehbaz and opposition leader Raja Riaz will conduct final discussions to determine the caretaker prime minister.

The prime minister has also called on the parliamentary leaders of the coalition parties for a final consultation on the interim setup. However, sources indicate that the prime minister, PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif, former president Asif Ali Zardari, and JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman have already concluded their consultations.

In parallel, the opposition leader has finalised three names after consultation. The prime minister and the opposition leader are expected to reach an agreement on one of these three names.

Earlier this week, however, the Council of Common Interest (CCI) unanimously approved the results of the 7th population and housing census, concluding that the population of Pakistan has reached 241.49 million with a growth rate of 2.55% as reported by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS).

The CCI’s 50th meeting was chaired by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and attended by chief ministers of all provinces, three federal ministers and key leaders of the allied parties invited on special invitation.

The CCI decision is likely to result in a delay in general elections slated for November this year if the assemblies are dissolved on August 9, three days shy of their term completion. A new census means a new delimitation of constituencies, which, according to some experts, may take at least four months.

Concerning still is the fact that based on recent statements made by Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah and Defence Minister Khawaja Asif there is a possibility that the next general elections may face delays.

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