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PML-N holds meet after Imran's gambit to force early elections

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Lahore | November 28, 2022 10:01:23 PM IST
Amid the ongoing political slugfest between former P Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf and the current regime led by successor Shehbaz Sharif of the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz, a meeting of the ruling party was held at Lahore's Model Town on Monday, The Dawn reported.

According to the report, the discussions at the PML-N's parliamentary party meeting centered on whether it shoud work to break the alliance between the PTI and Pakistan Muslim League Quaid-e-Azam to pre-empt the bid by the Imran Khan-led party to dissolve the National Assembly, thus paving the way for early elections.

On November 26, the PTI chief, who has been at daggers drawn with the ruling dispensation since being overthrown as PM, declated that his party leaders will submit resignations from Punjab province and Pakhtunkhwa assemblies where the PTI holds majority and is in power.

According to local reports, the PTI's strategy of mass resignations from these two assemblies will pressurise the federal government to go for an early election in the country.

The same will help Imran turn the tables on the Shehbaz Sharif government after his government lost a no-confidence vote in the national Assembly this year.

The PTI and PML-Q form the ruling alliance in the Punjab and Pakhtunkhwa assemblies, The Dawn reported, adding that while the alliance is majority in the provincial assembly of Punjab 179 members, the PML-N needs just 7 more votes to table a no-confidence motion against the PTI-PML-Q alliance.

There is also the possibility of the governor directing the Punjab chief minister to seek a confidence vote under clause 7 of Article 130 of Pakistan's constitution.

The Dawn reported, quoting legal experts such as Usama Khawar, that the relevant constitutional provision puts no bar on the governor's authority to ask the chief minister to seek a vote of confidence if in his (governor's) opinion, the CM has lost majority in the House.

"Nowhere in the Constitution has it been stated that the governor cannot summon a special session for taking a vote of confidence by the chief minister if the elected house of the relevant province is already in session," The Dawn quoted Khawar as saying.

Meanwhile, the Pakistan People's Party has launched a campaign as part of which it will seek signatures of Punjab Assembly members in favour of a no-trust motion. As many MPAs (provincial assembly members), including Syed Ali Haider Gilani, currently abroad, The Dawn quoted a senior party leader as saying that relevant documents in the matter were being couriered to them.

Quoting other sources, The Dawn reported that 'Mission Lahore' is a joint initiative of 11 political parties that are against the PTI-PML-Q alliance.

Former Pakistan president and PPP chief Asif Ali Zardari will arrive in Lahore shortly to formulate a strategy in line with the mission.

In the wake of Imran's announcement of dissolving the Punjab and Pakhtunkhwa provincial assemblies, other leading Opposition leaders in Pakistan, too, convened a meeting chaired by Muhammad Akram Khan Durrani of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Pakistan.

Among the others present at this meeting were Sardar Hussain Babak of Awami National Party, Nighat Orakzai of PPP and Ikhtiar Wali from PML-N.

The Dawn quoted leaders at this meeting as telling the media that they did not think that the PTI chief was serious about his decisions.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb said the PTI chairman was not relevant to Pakistan politics anymore. "Why should elections be held ahead of time just because Imran Khan lost power?" The Dawn quoted Aurangzeb as telling the Associated Press of Pakistan. (ANI)

 
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