Thursday Jan 12, 2023
Punjab Chief Minister Parvez Elahi signed the summary for the dissolution of the provincial assembly, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Senior Vice President Fawad Chaudhry announced Thursday, calling on the centre to hold snap polls across the country.
"Elahi has signed the summary and the advice has been sent to Punjab Governor [Baligh-Ur-Rehman] and if he does not sign on it in the next 48 hours, then in line with the Constitution, then the assembly will stand dissolved in the next 48 hours," the PTI leader told journalists in Lahore.
The decision to dissolve the assembly was taken during a meeting between the chief minister and PTI Chairman Imran Khan at the latter's Zaman Park residence, with senior party leaders in presence.
The assembly wasn't dissolved earlier apparently due to a restriction from the Lahore High Court (LHC), but since Elahi won the legislative's confidence once again, the bar was removed as the case was withdrawn.
The PTI leader also announced that the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly would also be dissolved in line with the party's "promise" to the people of leaving the legislative.
"The KP Assembly will also be dissolved on a similar format a day after tomorrow and we have fulfilled our promise of going back to the people [for seeking support]," he said.
Fawad said the PTI and its allies have proven that despite all the pressure, they were not "afraid" of going back to the people for seeking votes as they had proven it by stepping down from government in both provinces.
He also announced that a letter would be written to the Leader of the Opposition in the Punjab Assembly Hamza Shahbaz for the formation of a caretaker government.
After the completion of all the legal requirements, elections will take place in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the next 90 days, the former federal minister added.
"Let me tell you, around 60% of the country is heading toward elections. Therefore, we believe that the federal government should stop being stubborn, decide upon an electoral framework, and head towards elections."
The ex-information minister mentioned that if there is no stability in the country, it would lead to further economic and political turmoil. "The only way towards stability is elections."
"Since 60% of Pakistan is headed towards elections, it is beyond comprehension that why isn't 40% of the country moving towards them," he said, urging National Assembly Speaker Raja Parvez Ashraf to accept PTI's resignations.
Hours after the announcement, the governor said that he had "just received" the letter.
Speaking to Geo News, Rehman said that dissolving the assembly is not an easy decision, adding whatever decision he would take, would be with a "heavy heart".
“Punjab Assembly is the home of public representatives. Implementing the advice of the Punjab CM would be an unpleasant moment," the governor said.
The governor will decide on CM Elahi’s advice tomorrow, say sources in the Governor House.
Regarding the political situation in Punjab, senior journalist Benazir Shah observed that given that Pakistan Muslim League’s (PML-N’s) stronghold in Punjab has broken, there are more players in the field.
“The next general election in Punjab will be interesting to observe,” she said, as “both PTI and PML-N will be vying for the big prize. However, smaller political parties — PPP, PML-Q — and the 'electables' will have an equally important role in deciding who takes the province”.
She further added that at the moment, it seemed that Punjab would not be easy to win for any single party.
Commenting on today's meeting, Geo News' Lahore Bureau Chief Raees Ansari said that the chief minister had asked Khan to delay the dissolution of the assembly, but the PTI chief insisted that the decision had already been made.
At this, CM Elahi agreed, Ansari said, following which the PTI leadership released a "previously written document", which asked the governor to dissolve the assembly.
But once they realised that the overwriting on the document was visible, they released a fresh letter on the official letterhead.
The bureau chief clarified that the lawful process for the dissolution of the assembly is that the instructions must be penned out on the letterhead of the CM and then be sent to the governor.
“According to my sources, he added, “the PML-N has agreed to the dissolution and the governor will issue a notice confirming this.”
However, even if a notice is not issued by the Punjab governor, the assembly will be dissolved by law and only the speaker of the assembly will stay till the appointment of the next speaker.