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Pakistan PM says govt to quit before term’s end next month – Times of India


ISLAMABAD: Pakistan PM Shehbaz Sharif announced Sunday that his government would transfer power to an interim setup before the current National Assembly’s tenure concludes next month, indicating that general elections may be held in November this year.
The five-year term of the National Assembly, which began under former PM Imran Khan’s leadership in 2018, is set to end on August 12 with the coalition led by PM Sharif. According to the Constitution, if the National Assembly completes its full term, elections must be held within 60 days. However, if the assembly is dissolved prematurely, even by a single day, the government would have 90 days to conduct elections.
With only four weeks remaining in office, PM Sharif has intensified his political engagements, holding lengthy meetings with his coalition partners to determine the timing of the upcoming elections and finalise the interim government team that will assume power upon completion or dissolution of the National Assembly.
One of the recent meetings took place between PM Sharif and former President Asif Ali Zardari, who dined together at the PM’s Model Town residence in Lahore on Saturday night. Following dinner, the two leaders reportedly held a private meeting for over an hour.
Sources in Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) of Sharif and Zardari’s Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) revealed that the meeting primarily focused on shaping the caretaker government and deciding its duration.
Despite being perceived as a fragile coalition government, the PML(N)-led parties have the advantage of forming an interim government of their choice, as the main opposition party, Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), resigned en masse from parliament after Khan’s removal from power in April 2022.
Local newspapers reported that both sides agreed to include politicians rather than technocrats, who are typically chosen for such roles, in the interim setup. Sources within their respective parties also disclosed that Sharif and Zardari discussed the possibility of dissolving the National Assembly a few days before its term ends to facilitate elections in November.
Earlier, Sharif had met Jahangir Khan Tareen, the patron of the newly formed Istehkam-i-Pakistan Party (IPP), as well as leaders of smaller allied parties to discuss the electoral process and its timing.


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