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February 18, 2018



Govt’s last 100-day countdown begins tomorrow

ISLAMABAD: The countdown for Shahid Khaqan Abbasi’s government’s last 100 days is to begin from tomorrow (Monday) and the prime minister has finalised the 100 days’ roadmap, sources told The News on Saturday.

The plan includes launching of about 25 health, education, construction and power mega projects in various parts of the country. The projects initiated by Nawaz Sharif have been completed and their inauguration would be undertaken during these days. The number of such projects stand at 37. The progress report of Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) government and the manifesto for the next polls would be choreographed. Both the documents will be ready for the public by the end of next month.

The sources pointed out that as soon as the election for 52 seats of Senate completes in the first week of March, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan would start consultations with Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Syed Khursheed Shah for appointment of a caretaker chief executive, who would be responsible for holding general elections in a free and fair manner. The sources reminded that though the leader of the opposition is not constrained to consult parliamentary groups of the opposition but Shah will talk to some of them.

The prime minister being leader of the House would also consult the ruling party’s allies before making up his mind to proceed for consultations with the leader of the opposition. The prime minister has no official role in selecting caretaker chief ministers but he will also be informally consulted for picking caretakers in the provinces, the sources hinted.

The sources pointed out that polls for the National Assembly will be held in the last week of July, if the government doesn’t wrap up even a day before May 31. In case the National Assembly is dissolved on May 30 or earlier the election would take place within 90 days of the dissolution. The process could slip over in August. The elections in the provinces could be held on different days if the chief ministers don’t complete the mandated period of their assemblies and opt to dissolve. It will be a political decision by the incumbent chief ministers that will force the days of polls in different provinces.

Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif will have to undertake difficult exercise of consulting leader of the opposition belonging to the PTI namely Mian Mahmoodul Rashid. The Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah will consult Khawaja Izhar of the MQM-Pakistan. It will not be a difficult proposition for him. Interestingly, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI) of Maulna Fazlur Rehman will be in an advantageous position in the two smaller provinces of KP and Balochistan where both the leaders of the opposition hail from the JUI. Maulana Lutfur Rehman, brother of Maulana Fazl is leader of the opposition in the KP where chief minister Pervez Khattack will consult him and chief minister Balochistan Abdul Quddus Bizenjo will consult Maulana Abdul Wasai for picking caretaker chief minister. Despite this all leaders of the ruling parties in the federal and provincial government will have a vital role in the whole affair, the sources said.