Govt decides to complete term

May 18, 2022

The coalition government decided that the government would complete its constitutional tenure in a bid to take the country out of economic turmoil

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Asif Ali Zardari (Left) and PM Shehbaz Sharif. Photo: The News/File

ISLAMABAD: The government has decided to complete its constitutional tenure till August 2023, sources told Geo News on Tuesday.

The decision was made in a meeting of coalition partners, presided over by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif. JUI-F Chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari, MQM-P's Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui and federal ministers Azam Nazeer Tarar, Khawaja Asif and Marriyum Aurangzeb attended the meeting. They decided that the government would complete its constitutional tenure in a bid to take the country out of economic turmoil.

Besides, the meeting also discussed the Supreme Court of Pakistan’s verdict on the Article 63 (A) and the situation arising out of it in Punjab. According to sources, the allies assured Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif of their complete support on every decision. They also advised him to take immediate measures to stabilise the economy.

Officials, who attended the meeting, said the coalition partners advised the government’s economic team to take immediate measures to stabilise the rupee. They also recommended that the IMF programme be finalised.

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The newly formed government is under pressure due to the economic situation as the dollar has reached a historic high, while PTI Chairman Imran Khan is holding rallies to press for early elections. In a major development, the Supreme Court ruled that the votes of dissident Members of Parliament (MPs) cast against their parliamentary party's directives could not be counted. Although no PTI member voted for Shehbaz Sharif during the prime minister's election, at least 25 party members had voted for Hamza Shehbaz in the Punjab chief minister election’s — leaving his fate hanging in the balance.

The coalition partners also decided to take tough decisions as a delegation led by Finance Minister Miftah Ismail left for Doha to hold talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) scheduled to start on Wednesday. The talks will focus on efforts to strike a deal for a $1 billion tranche under the Extended Fund Facility.

One of the tough decisions which the coalition government would have to take is to abolish subsidy on prices of petroleum products. The political leadership also reaffirmed the commitment to go ahead with electoral reforms, while repealing amendments to election laws made by the last government, without coming under any political pressure. The coalition partners also asked Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to take immediate decisions to stop the devaluation of the Pakistani currency against the US dollar.

Meanwhile, the federal cabinet opposed holding early elections without reforms. The cabinet meeting, presided over by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, discussed the current political situation besides its regular agenda. According to sources, the cabinet ministers, opposing early elections, said “tough” decisions were needed for the betterment of the country and the provision of relief to the common people.

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