KASUR: For the first time, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Sunday publicly announced that the National Assembly would be dissolved on August 9, three days before the lower house of parliament’s term is scheduled to expire.
The premier made the announcement while addressing a mass public rally in Kasur, a city in south Punjab, after laying the foundation stone for the Taray Garh interchange on the Lahore-Bahawalnagar motorway and Rai Mansab Ali Khan interchange on Abdul Hakim motorway on the Bucheki-Nankana road.
Quoting credible sources, reports started circulating on August 3 over various print and electronic media that PM Shehbaz had told his coalition partners that the summary to dissolve the NA would be moved on August 9.
The assurance was given by the premier during the farewell dinner he hosted for his coalition partners during which the political situation of the country and general elections came under discussion.
The current assembly’s tenure will end on August 12 and if it completes its stipulated time then elections will be held within 60 days. However, the Constitution states that the polls must be held within 90 days if the assembly is dissolved before the completion of its tenure.
If the summary is moved to dissolve the lower house on August 9 that it would be liable to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to hold polls within 90 days.
However, before the assembly dissolution, the government and the opposition need to agree on a name for a caretaker prime minister.
Addressing the public rally, PM Shehbaz said that Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supreme leader Nawaz Sharif would be the next prime minister of Pakistan.
He claimed that the three-time premier — who has been in self-imposed exile in London since November 2019 owing to health reasons — would change the destiny of the country by initiating projects in the sectors of agriculture, industry and infrastructure.
“Nawaz Sharif will serve the people of Pakistan as prime minister for another term if voted to power. He considers the whole of Pakistan as his family and in the past selflessly served the people,” the premier added.
Rs263 billion, he said, would be spent on the construction of the motorway from Lahore to Bahawalnagar and on other projects.
PM Shehbaz recalled that in the past, Pakistan suffered from load shedding of 20 hours every day and then the PML-N supremo came in 2013 and he removed the darkness caused by power shortages by setting up power projects, revived industry and agriculture and brought the CPEC project of $ 30 billion with the collaboration of China.
He said their government provided laptops worth billions of rupees to millions of students, adding he was unfairly criticised for delivering laptops to youth who were now using modern tools of communication and earning livelihoods.
Premier Shehbaz said the PML-N supremo had initiated the project of the Diamer Bhasha and Dasu dams and made Pakistan a nuclear state by conducting six nuclear explosions in response to five explosions by India.
He reminded that Nawaz had rejected the offer of $5 billion by then-US president Bill Clinton and went on with the nuclear explosions while ignoring pressure. He also said that the PML-N supreme leader also started Zarb-e-Azab led by the Pakistan Army to eradicate terrorism and the jawans of armed forces and people from all sections of society rendered sacrifices against terrorism.
Lashing out at the previous PTI-led government, Premier Shehbaz said that terrorists were again allowed to re-enter Pakistan and they took many innocent lives in terrorist acts.
In the era of Nawaz, the PM said Pakistan had good relations with friendly and brotherly countries including China, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Turkey, Qatar and others.
“Then, Imran Niazi was imposed on the country after the rigged election in 2018,” the PM said, adding that his regime caused severe damage to relations with these countries including Islamic countries and he resorted to baseless allegations of corruption against companies of China.
Ties with China were broken by the former government despite the fact that the neighbouring country massively invested in infrastructure, power and road projects, the premier pointed out.