Shehbaz, Zardari, Fazl mull ‘new’ electoral strategy

By
Asim Yasin
|
Waqar Satti
Former president Asif Ali Zardari and PDM President Maulana Fazlur Rehman called on Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on January 26, 2023. —PID
Former president Asif Ali Zardari and PDM President Maulana Fazlur Rehman called on Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on January 26, 2023. —PID

  • PDM leaders meet in Islamabad.
  • This was Asif Zardari's second meeting with PM Shehbaz in two days.
  • Ruling partners vow to bring economy out of the crisis.


ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, former president Asif Ali Zardari and Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) President Maulana Fazlur Rehman Thursday discussed a “new electoral strategy” for the upcoming elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and by-polls on National Assembly seats that fell vacant recently.

According to sources, the ruling alliance deliberated upon approaching the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for holding elections based on the digital census scheduled to start on March 1.

They also reviewed the current political environment in the country and the formulation of the strategy of the coalition partners.

Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, Economic and Political Affairs Minister Ayaz Sadiq and Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique were also present in the meeting.

It was the second meeting of Asif Ali Zardari with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in two days. On Wednesday, their meeting had focused on the country’s economic situation.

According to sources, consultations were also held in the Thursday huddle on mini-budget and measures to bring the country’s economy out of the crisis.

Sources said there was a consensus in the meeting to put a minimum economic burden on the people.

Digital census

It is pertinent to mention that the results of the digital census would be released on April 30 while the Election Commission has already clarified that it needs six months for the delimitation exercise according to the new census.

After the dissolution of the KP and Punjab assemblies, the elections in these two provinces are to be held within 90 days. 

The ECP has suggested April 14 and April 18 for polls in Punjab and KP, however, if the elections are to be held on the basis of the new census, they have to be postponed.

Similarly, the ECP is also preparing for the by-elections on nearly National Assembly seats, which fell vacant after the resignations of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf lawmakers were accepted.