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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government is expected to summon a joint-sitting of Parliament this week to push its wide-ranging electoral reforms bills, it is learnt.

Earlier on Wednesday, the government put off Thursday’s joint session of Parliament within 24 hours of its summoning due to a lack of required numbers of its lawmakers and reservations relayed by its own allies.

In yet another attempt to reach across the political aisle and persuade allies for the passage of the controversial Elections (Second Amendment) Bill, 2021, the beleaguered ruling party is asking its lawmakers in both houses to gear up for the upcoming session.

According to the sources, the government is now holding talks with its allies as well to back its electoral reforms. They said that the government’s ally Pakistan Muslim League (PML-Q) has given green signal to support the government on the legislation for electoral reforms in joint-sitting of the Parliament.

They said that by summoning the joint sitting, the government wanted to control the embarrassment it suffered after postponing the joint session a day before it was scheduled.

The government’s allies, PML-Q, MQM Pakistan, GDA, and Balochistan Awami Party (BAP), were reported to have serious reservations about the functioning of the government and none of them assured the ruling party of voting for the government bills in the joint sitting.

The sources said that the leadership of the ruling party asked its allies to express their point of view, about the bills, by Monday so that a decision could be taken about summoning of the joint sitting in this week.

In case the allies do not give assurances, the government will shelve the idea of legislating at its own. However, the government will urge the opposition to bring the bills of its choice.

However, on the other hand, the opposition parties, already scrambling to formulate a joint strategy against the government inside the Parliament, have also urged their lawmakers to keep vigilant in case any urgent joint-session of the parliament is called.

According to sources, parliamentarians from all major opposition parties, including Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) have been directed to stay in Islamabad.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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