Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb rubbished news reports about coalition government partners withdrawing nomination papers for Punjab elections.
There were speculations in the air in the federal capital about the government and allies hashing out a new strategy following the Supreme Court's April 4 order to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to hold elections in Punjab.
The reports that quoted sources said that three major parties — Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F), and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) — have decided not to contest the polls in Punjab.
Following the apex court's order, the electoral body has notified the schedule for Punjab polls set for May 14.
Reacting to these reports, the information minister said there is no truth in the reports of government alliance parties withdrawing nomination papers.
"The party leadership has not taken any decision to withdraw the nomination papers," she stressed. "These reports are fabricated and mere speculations."
The government and its partners are determined to give a tough fight to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan, who she termed "foreign agent, trouble-maker, Constitution-violator, and watch thief".
The minister stressed that the all the parties in the coalition government seek elections across the country on the same day.
A three-member bench of the top court had earlier this week ruled unanimously that the ECP's order to delay the election in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was "unconstitutional".
The bench — led by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial and comprising Justice Munib Akhtar, and Justice Ijaz Ul Ahsan — also ordered the electoral body to hold an election in the province on May 14.
The ECP postponed the date of the election in Punjab to October 8 — initially scheduled to take place on April 30 — citing a resurgence of terror attacks, a shortage of security personnel and an unprecedented economic crisis.
The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), which filed the plea against the delay, has welcomed the court's decision, but the federal cabinet has rejected the verdict and Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar said the legal team was outlining the future course of action.
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