CMs agree to hold elections on same day
17 March, 2013
ISLAMABAD: The four chief ministers have agreed, in principle, to the prime minister's proposal that the elections of the national and provincial assemblies should be held on the same day for logistical, administrative and financial reasons and also to promote political harmony in the country.
The understanding came when Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif; Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah; Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Ameer Haider Khan Hoti, Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Muhammad Aslam Raisani and Balochistan Governor Nawab Zufiqar Magsi met Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf in Islamabad on Saturday.
They discussed matters relating to the forthcoming general elections and possibility of dissolution of assemblies on the same day as well as questions relating to the caretaker set-up. The meeting was held in a cordial environment and the participants expressed the confidence that all matters relating to the appointment of caretaker set-ups at the federal and provincial levels would be resolved amicably.
The prime minister said that Saturday's gathering was a good omen for promotion of democratic values in the country. He expressed the confidence that all issues relating to appointment of caretaker set-ups would be resolved amicably. The chief ministers congratulated the prime minister on the completion of constitutional tenure. The prime minister reciprocated the gesture and commended them on completion of tenures by all the provincial assemblies.
Meanwhile, according to media reports, although Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif termed the meeting positive and said there was no deadlock over the issue, he was reported to have told the meeting that he would make any decision to dissolve the Punjab Assembly only after consultation with his elder brother and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz President Nawaz Sharif. Shahbaz also requested Raja to replace governors, inspector generals of police and chief secretaries of Sindh, Punjab, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
On the other hand, Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Raisani has also threatened that he would not be sending advice for assembly's dissolution on March 19. Sources said that he was angry, as he could not get assurance to address certain issues. Earlier on Friday, Raisani had agreed to the dissolution of the provincial assembly along with three other assemblies. It was also reported that Punjab, Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had agreed to the dissolution of their assemblies on March 19.
Meanwhile, PML-N has decided to stick to its caretaker prime minister nominee, Justice (r) Nasir Aslam Zahid. This was decided at a high-level meeting of the party at the Punjab House on Saturday, which was attended, among others, by PML-N Chairman Raja Muhammad Zafarul Haq, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and Shahbaz Sharif.