Islamabad: The Pakistan National Assembly is likely to be dissolved a couple of days before the March 16 completion of its five-year term , a minister said.
Syed Khurshid Shah, religious affairs minister, told the media that the government is trying to have the provincial assemblies and the federal assembly be dissolved on the same date.
The main opposition party, Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N), rules the most populous province, Punjab where the provincial assembly’s term is due to expire in April and its dissolution before that depends on the party ruling the province.
The PML-N is yet to make up its mind regarding the issue of dissolution of the Punjab assembly ahead of the due date.
The minister, a key figure in the ruling Pakistan People’s Party, said the PPP leadership had not yet finalised a nominee for the post of caretaker prime minister.
Caretaker setups at the centre and in the provinces are to oversee the next general elections, expected to be held in May.
According to the constitution the leaders of the opposition and treasury benches in the National Assembly will nominate a caretaker prime minister through a process of consultation.
Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf, addressing a gathering in his hometown Gujar Khan near here Thursday on the occasion of launch of an educational institution, said that the entire nation, along with all political forces, was determined to protect the democratic system in the country.”.
“We will render all sacrifices and protect democracy at all costs,” the prime minister said, adding that the military leadership, judiciary and the media would also stand with political forces to thwart any attempt to sabotage democracy.
He added that all “backdoor” channels leading to power had been blocked, and that the only way anyone could come to power was through the mandate of the people.
Praising the incumbent military leadership, the prime minister said it had abided by the principles of democracy.
Ashraf reiterated that the elections would be held on time and in a free, fair and transparent manner.
He noted that this was the first time in Pakistan’s history that the National Assembly was completing its term and said for this all political parties deserved praise.