Pakistan’s National Assembly to be dissolved on August 9: PM Shehbaz Sharif

Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has said that the National Assembly would be dissolved on August 9, three days before the term of the lower house of Parliament is scheduled to end, a move which will prompt general elections in the country within 90 days.

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Sharif said this on Thursday at a dinner reception hosted in honour of the ruling allies at the Prime Minister’s House, the Dawn newspaper reported on Friday

The ruling coalition government is getting ready to face an election at the completion of the five-year term of Parliament on August 12.

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The Constitution provides that if the National Assembly completes its tenure, elections are to be held in 60 days, but in case of premature dissolution, this period is extended to 90 days.

The prime minister will send a notification to President Arif Alvi for the dissolution of the National Assembly on August 9, The Express Tribune newspaper reported.

According to the Constitution, the assembly will stand dissolved as soon as the president signs the notification.

However, if, for any reason, the president does not sign the advice, the assembly will be automatically dissolved after 48 hours of receiving the prime minister’s notification, the report said.

At the reception, Sharif apprised the participants that the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) had finalised consultations within the party, and the premier will begin a final round of discussions with allies on the caretaker set-up on Friday. This process is expected to take at least three days.

An online meeting with allies on the caretaker set-up is also expected to be held on Friday.

On Thursday, Foreign Minis ter Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari also held a lengthy meeting with the prime minister on this issue, the source said, according to the report.

The premier briefed his allies at the dinner about the coalition government’s performance. He claimed that the government had increased revenue collection by 13 percent in 15 months as more than 1.3 million new taxpayers were included in the tax net.

Sharif claimed recoveries remained over 90 percent in the power sector. However, it may be noted that the circular debt posted an 18 percent Rs 393 billion increase in the past 11 months, according to the report.

The prime minister said that significant progress was witnessed during the last four months in the IT sector and added that the total volume of IT expo rts went up to USD 2.6 billion in the previous fiscal year.

He said that foreign investment remained at USD 1.45 billion during the fiscal year 2022-23 and hoped that with the establishment of the Special Investment Facili tation Council (SIFC), more foreign invest ment would be fetched.

Sharif said with the Rs 1.8 trillion Kissan Package, the government has met 99 percent of targets and saved the country from default. He added that comprehensive policies have been devised for the welfare of the people.

The reception was attended by Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani, Speaker of National Assembly Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leaders Yousuf Raza Gilani, and Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) Convener Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui.

Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam(F) (JUI-F) leader Asad Mehmood, Balochistan Awami Party leaders Khalid Magsi and Senator Ahmed Khan, Jamhoori Watan Party (JWP) Chairman Shahzain Bugti, Aslam Bhootani, Mohsin Dawar and were also among those who attended the reception, according to the report.

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