Government tenure ends marking ten years of democracy in Pakistan

This is the first time in Pakistan’s history that a second consecutive democratic government has completed its five-year tenure

An inside view of the National Assembly of Pakistan. — Geo News FILE

ISLAMABAD: The federal government completed its five-year constitutional term late Thursday, after which the interim government is set to take over the reins of the country from Friday.

This is the first time in Pakistan’s history that a second consecutive democratic government has completed its five-year tenure.

Former chief justice of Pakistan Justice (retd) Nasirul Mulk will take oath as the caretaker prime minister of the country on Friday. President Mamnoon Hussain would administer oath to Justice (retd) Mulk.

Outgoing Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi Thursday held farewell meetings with the federal cabinet, his staff and officers. He will also be presented a guard of honour by armed forces' contingents upon departure from the chief executive's office at 10am on Friday.

Earlier in the evening, Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs issued a notification with regard to dissolution of the incumbent National Assembly.

"In pursuance of Article 52 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the National Assembly shall stand dissolved on the expiration of its term of five years on the 31st day of May, 2018," the notification said.

The provincial assemblies of Balochistan and Punjab also completed their five-year term tonight and stand dissolved henceforth. Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assemblies already completed their tenure on May 28.

The names for caretaker chief ministers of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab, and Balochistan could not be finalised by the respective provincial governments and oppositions. The matter is likely to be forwarded to respective parliamentary committees.

The outgoing Sindh government and opposition, however, named Fazlur Rehman as the caretaker chief minister of the province, sources informed Geo News late Thursday.

The general elections across the country will be held on July 25, for which the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) issued a schedule and a code of conduct on Thursday.

'Only democratic governments can resolve issues'

Earlier, PM Abbasi stressed that Pakistan's issues can only be resolved by a democratically-elected government.

Addressing the last National Assembly session, the outgoing prime minister said, "Pakistan's issues can only be resolved by a government which comes through the will of the people."

Stating that many undemocratic governments assumed power in the country but none of them "delivered", he asserted, "The need of democracy and Pakistan today is free and fair elections."

PM Abbasi reiterated, "We will not tolerate even a day's delay in the upcoming elections."

He also mentioned that "a big part in ensuring transparent elections is the freedom of media."

The outgoing premier also appreciated the opposition's role as the PML-N-led government was about to become the second democratically-elected government to complete its tenure in the history of Pakistan.

"The assembly would not have completed its term today, had it not been for the leader of the opposition," the premier said.

'Today is a historic day'

Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif Thursday said that today was a historic day and such a day had never come before.

Speaking to reporters during a break in proceedings of Al-Azizia reference case, he said that on this day he had more than 80 appearances before the court.

'Prayers of gratitude on end of corrupt govt's tenure'

Pakistan Tehrkee-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan Thursday urged the citizens to offer prayers of gratitude at the end of the incumbent government's tenure.

In a video message, the PTI chief said the country had never had a government so incompetent and corrupt in its history.

"Not even enemies were capable of doing what this government did to the country," said Imran, adding that the PML-N-led government increased the national debt from Rs13,000bn to Rs28,000bn.

SC orders officials to return vehicles by midnight

The Supreme Court ordered government officials and departments to return the vehicles in their possession without merit, while additional ones used by Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Law Minister Rana Sanaullah would be taken back as soon as the Cabinet dissolves tonight.

The directives were issued during Thursday's hearing of a suo motu case by a three-member bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar at Supreme Court's Lahore registry.

During the hearing, Additional Attorney General Nayyar Abbas presented details of vehicles in possession of government departments and members of the cabinet.

According to the report, 105 vehicles were being used by the cabinet members and government officials.