- Coalition partners agree to make attempt to save Hamza Shehbaz's govt in Punjab
- Want to give tough time to PTI
The government has decided to complete its constitutional tenure till August 2023 amid pressure from Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) to announce early elections, Aaj News reported on Tuesday.
The decision comes days after PTI routed the PML-N by winning at least 15 seats in the crucial by-elections on the 20 Punjab Assembly seats.
During the meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, the coalition partners also agreed that they will give a tough time to Imran Khan.
The government also decided to make an attempt to save Hamza Shehbaz's government in Punjab. PTI on Monday endorsed the nomination of Chaudhary Pervaiz Elahi as a joint candidate of the PTI and the PML-Q for the slot of Punjab chief minister for which election will be held on July 22.
Talking to the media at the conclusion of the coalition partners' meeting, Federal Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique said that the government will take "all necessary steps" for the country's stability.
"We have said it before, it is easier to do politics but we cannot leave Pakistan in this terrible state."
He asked the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to announce its verdict in the PTI's foreign funding case.
The minister said that legislation is the parliament's job and cannot be given to anyone. "We have reservations about the interpretation of Article-63 and as it is inconsistent with the Constitution," he said adding: "The review petition on the issue should be heard by the Supreme Court's full bench."
Talking about his party's performance in Punjab's by-polls, Rafique said that PML-N's vote bank was intact in Punjab, adding that his party gained votes considerably despite having no representation in the constituencies where elections were held.
The coalition government's response comes a day after Imran Khan demanded fresh elections, saying that the only way forward was to hold fair and free elections under a credible Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).
He stressed that the political crisis will only deepen if fresh elections are delayed.