Ruling coalition to hold formal consultations over evolving political situation

LAHORE: In wake of the evolving political situation and developments taking place, the ruling alliance of Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) has convened an emergency session to discuss and evolve a joint strategy to deal with the situation emerging out of the dissolution of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) assemblies.

The agreement of the ruling alliance comes after Punjab Chief Minister Pervaiz Elahi on Thursday night sent an advice to Governor Balighur Rehman to dissolve the provincial assembly, fulfilling the promise to PTI Chairman Imran Khan and paving the way for fresh elections.

Sources in the ruling coalition informed Pakistan Today that the top leaders of the ruling alliance also remained in touch for the past 24 hours and have been resolute in their resolve not to dissolve the National Assembly under pressure from Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI).

The PDM leaders including PML-N President and Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, PPP Co-Chairman and former president Asif Ali Zardari and Jamiat Ulema-e- Islam (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman have been in touch over the past 24 hours.

“Though the time and venue for the emergency meeting of the ruling coalition leaders is yet to be decided, it has been decided to meet at the earliest. Most probably, the meeting would take place in Lahore over the weekend,” a source told this scribe.

The PTI leadership is also to determine how the parties will participate in the elections should the dissolution of Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) provincial assemblies trigger early polls.

The sources say that the PDM leaders will also decide if a legal battle on the matter should be pursued. While legal experts are being consulted, Asif Ali Zardari has pushed for a “political solution” to the matter at hand.

Furthermore, the leaders have also expressed determination to remove all reservations expressed by the MQM-P. It has also been confirmed that the provincial assemblies of Sindh and Balochistan are not to be dissolved as of yet. Important decisions are expected after the consultations are completed.

The PDM nonetheless remains resolute that general elections will be held as per schedule, revealed the sources.

PTI Chairman Imran Khan has emerged victorious as Punjab CM Elahi has signed a summary for the dissolution of the provincial assembly as per his desire.

Despite strong pressure and other tactics, the PML-N-led federal government along with the ‘powerful circles’ were unable to refrain Elahi from taking a vote of confidence in the Punjab Assembly.

It has been learnt that Punjab Governor Balighur Rehman had considered the situation after Elahi taking a vote of confidence. It was decided that the governor would accept the CM’s vote of confidence to avoid any judicial verdict, which might have curtailed his constitutional powers.

Political analysts are astonished that Elahi, who has a long-term association with the ‘powerful circles’, stood with Imran’s stance on the dissolution of the PA. A debate is also raging as to why Elahi went against the wishes of the ‘powerful circles’.

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