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Parliament to decide on elections: Prime Minister Shehbaz

ISLAMABAD: The parliament will take a call on the elections as it has already taken legal and constitutional steps to address the recent challenges.

This was stated by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif while addressing leaders of the parties that form the current coalition government in a meeting to discuss holding talks with the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf.

Saying that the door for negotiations should not be closed, the prime minister said: “We can decide what the format of the talks will be. The parliamentary committee can create room for this.”

According to the national news agency, Shehbaz Sharif said that in the recent past meetings were held to discuss the challenges and 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 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 this 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 that 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.

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