PM, Zardari put heads together over PTI threat

Shehbaz calls PPP co-chair to discuss how to stop Punjab Assembly dissolution


Our Corresondent November 29, 2022
Shehbaz Sharif and Asif Ali Zardari. PHOTO: EXPRESS

LAHORE:

A day after Punjab Chief Minister Pervaiz Elahi assured that he would not "wait for a minute" to dissolve the provincial assembly if PTI Chairman Imran Khan asked him, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Monday telephoned PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari and mulled over options to avert the move.

Elahi, whose party is an ally of PTI in Punjab, expressed full support for Imran’s decision to exit from the provincial assemblies in a bid to trigger elections. "Imran Khan entrusted the Punjab government to [me]. We stand with those whom we support," the chief minister said.

“We never break the trust of those we swear allegiance to,” he added.

According to sources, PM Shehbaz called the PPP co-chairman on Monday and discussed the political activities taking place in Punjab. Both leaders also discussed the major developments occurring in the country, including the possible dissolution of the provincial assemblies.

Also read: PTI green-lights dissolution of Punjab, K-P assemblies

Sources said that all the legal and constitutional options available for the change of government in Punjab were under consideration, adding that the premier also instructed his son and PML-N leader Hamza Shahbaz to consult with the allied parties on the matter.

On Saturday, after being disappointed with the Supreme Court and the establishment for not facilitating to hold early general elections, the PTI chairman had changed his strategy under which he decided to quit all provincial assemblies.

Imran said a final decision would only be taken after consultations with chief ministers in provinces and after a meeting of the PTI’s parliamentary party.

Separately, the PML-N announced that it would try every last-ditch effort to stop dissolution of the Punjab Assembly.

The party held an emergency consultative meeting in Model Town, Lahore.

The PML-N Punjab Provincial Parliamentary Advisory Group held consultation for more than two hours under the leadership of Hamza and deliberated on several options including imposition of governor’s rule in Punjab to bar the PTI chief from dissolving the provincial assembly.

Also read: No NA elections even if provincial assemblies dissolved, says ECP

Later, SAPM Attaullah Tarar along with party leader Azma Bukhari said that they would apply “every tactic” to stop the dissolution of the Punjab Assembly.

He said various options including a no-confidence motion against the Punjab chief minister and the governor asking Elahi to seek a vote of confidence were under consideration.

Tarar said the PTI members were also against the dissolution of the assembly and “were in contact with the PML-N”.

Azma said Imran wanted to dissolve the Punjab Assembly because of his “frustration”, adding that the PML-N would stop the move in any case.

On Sunday, PTI MPA Azizullah Gran of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly became the first lawmaker to submit his resignation to the chief minister.

Gran, who was elected from the constituency of PK-4 Swat-III and also headed the standing committee on minerals, kicked off the process of resignations from K-P Assembly.

Also read: After Imran’s call, PTI lawmakers from Sindh submit resignations

Talking to The Express Tribune, Gran said the K-P Assembly seat held no status for him.

“I am resigning in writing to fulfill the order of party chairman Imran Khan,” he added.

He further said the seat was entrusted to him by Imran and the party.

“I am announcing my resignation from the K-P Assembly as per Imran Khan's order,” Gran said.

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