PM Shehbaz, Zardari Hold Meeting As Elections Draw Close

PM Shehbaz, Zardari Hold Meeting As Elections Draw Close
As the general elections approach, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari met for the second time in a week on Tuesday to discuss a plan for dissolving assemblies and choosing individuals for a caretaker setup.

According to reports, the two main coalition members, the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) and the PPP, have decided to dissolve the legislatures four days early, on August 8. However, the exact date of the assembly's dissolution is unknown.

Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb put an end to the speculation about when the National Assembly will be dissolved and made it clear that no decision has yet been made in this respect.

According to sources, in addition to addressing issues linked to the impending elections, PM Shehabaz and Zardari had talks throughout the meeting over the country's present political situation.

Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar and Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, the minister of economic affairs and head of the parliamentary committee on electoral changes, accompanied the prime minister in the meeting.

The former president and PM Shehbaz Sharif met for the second time in a week; the first meeting took place in Lahore last Saturday.

As per sources, a combined meeting of the PDM and PPP and the leaders of the coalition partners will be conducted within the next two days to settle on a plan for dissolving assemblies and setting up a caretaker government.

Finance Minister Dar reportedly urged that these choices be made at the summit of the ruling alliance parties, according to PM House sources. According to the sources, everyone who took part approved of the suggestion.

The PPP opposed the PML-N's desire to choose a political heavyweight to lead the organization and instead suggested that a prominent bureaucrat or former senior judge be considered for the position of temporary chief executive.

According to the sources, the National Assembly and the two provincial assemblies should be dissolved on August 9, three days before the authorized term ends, as agreed upon by the two parties. The ruling alliance gathering would be where the ultimate decision would be made, according to the sources.

The NA, Sindh, and Balochistan provincial assemblies have not yet been dissolved, and the conference came to a conclusion without making a resolution regarding seat adjustments. The sources noted that since the provincial leadership of the two parties has a greater understanding of the situation on the ground, that matter has been deferred to them.

Sources said that further meetings between PM Shahbaz and PM Zardari and their respective leaders will take place in light of the decisions made on Tuesday.