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Ruling coalition to mull over Jamat-e-Islami’s talks offer today

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  • PM House huddle to discuss SC election funds order.
  • PML-N says political parties should hold dialogue.
  • PPP says no concept of economic stability sans political equilibrium.

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has called a meeting of coalition partners today on the country’s political situation and the Jamat-e-Islami’s negotiation efforts between the government and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), sources told Geo News.

The meeting will be held today at 3:30pm at the PM House, the sources said, adding the huddle will hold consultations on the prevailing political and constitutional crises and take decisions in this regard.

The sources shared that the prime minister will consult with the allied parties after the meeting with JI chief Sirajul Haq — who has offered to hold an all-parties conference after Eid ul Fitr to end the impasse between the government and Imran Khan-led PTI.

The issue of the Supreme Court’s order to release Rs21 billion for elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will also come under discussion.

The State Bank of Pakistan was directed by the apex court to release funds directly to the Election Commission of Pakistan by April 17 and submit a report in this regard on April 18 (today).

However, the National Assembly has once again rejected the motion to grant permission to the central bank to release funds.

PPP delegation meets coalition partners

Meanwhile, a three-member delegation of the Pakistan Peoples Party held separate meetings with Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Awami National Party (ANP), Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) and Balochistan Awami Party (BAP).

During the meeting with PML-N leaders, Senator Yousuf Raza Gilani said the situation is tense and the collision between the institutions is not in the country’s interest.

Speaking on the occasion, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah said that the politics of stubbornness and selfishness has led the country to crisis, and it is the responsibility of the political parties to improve the situation through dialogue.

‘Dialogue better for Constitution, democracy’

Talking to the media persons here in Islamabad after the meeting with ANP leaders, former PM Gilani said they are holding talks on the instructions of PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and former president Asif Ali Zardari.

He said the ANP always rendered sacrifices for the restoration of democracy and rule of law. Gilani said the basic purpose of the Constitution was that all institutions would exercise their powers within their constitutional domain.

“The PPP wants to make a conducive environment for dialogue among the political parties, as all the problems being faced by the county will be addressed through the dialogue process,” he added.

Gilani said the masses were looking to the political parties in the current political and economic situation.

He said there was no concept of economic stability sans political equilibrium in the country and therefore it was the best strategy to hold dialogue with the political parties especially those who were allies of the government.

ANP Secretary General Mian Iftikhar Hussain thanked the PPP delegation for approaching them for dialogue. 

He said the political parties will have to join hands for the supremacy of the parliament and to ensure that all institutions work in their domain.

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Parliament’s joint session has been rescheduled for April 18.

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Following the general elections on February 8, the legislative year will begin on Thursday with President Asif Ali Zardari addressing the first session of both houses of parliament.

Articles 54 (1) and 56 (3) of the Constitution were invoked by President Zardari to call the meeting. According to Article 56(3), he will speak to the combined session, which starts at 4 p.m.

The combined session, which was originally set for April 16, has been moved to April 18. For this reason, the April 16 joint parliamentary session notification is revoked.

Note that both the upper and lower houses have had their members elected in accordance with the constitution, and that this will be the nation’s first joint session after the new legislative year has begun.

Former President Arif Alvi was still in office after the elections that took place on February 8, but he was unable to call a joint session because the Senate elections had not yet taken place.

The combined session was summoned by President Zardari a few weeks after he took the oath of office and after the Senate elections went well.

Some months after Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s coalition government had taken power in the center, Alvi had already called a joint session of parliament on October 6, 2022.

On the other hand, the session was called by the then-president to commemorate the start of the 2022 National Assembly’s final full year.

Amidst the nation’s increasing political instability, the former president emphasized the need for dialogue and urged to end polarization in his speech to the parliament, which was marred by an unexpected boycott by the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F).

“Stubbornness doesn’t mean that a person is a Polarized person.”

In the end, the number of parliamentarians in attendance during the former president’s speech dropped down to 12 from the initial 15 people.

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In instances from May 9, the ATC prevented police from detaining Fawad Chaudhry.

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The ATC judge issued the directives after allowing Fawad Chaudhry temporary release until April 20 in four cases involving the violence on May 9.

Additionally, the police were instructed by the court to bring the case file against Chaudhry at the following hearing.

Speaking to reporters outside the court, Fawad Chaudhry expressed his optimism for a bright future after spending four stints behind bars.

Among the numerous issues Chaudhry is dealing with are allegations of corruption.

The former PTI leader was released from Rawalpindi’s Adiala Jail on April 6.

On April 1, Fawad Chaudhry was granted bail by a division bench of the Islamabad High Court, which was composed of Chief Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri. The case included land in Jhelum and was brought before the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

Qasir Imam, Fawad’s attorney, had previously told the court that his client was accused of accepting a Rs. 5 million bribe from a civilian.

He added that he had never seen the complainant whose complaint led to the filing of a first information report (FIR) against his client. The accusation is that the complainant bribed Fawad and his client offered him a job.

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Pakistan

The SHC is contesting Aseefa Bhutto’s election to the Nawabshah NA seat.

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Mustafa Rind of the PTI asserted in a high court suit that his nomination papers were turned down following his kidnapping.

He begged that the announcement of Aseefa Bhutto’s uncontested election be deemed invalid, and he added that a by-election to fill the National Assembly’s open seats will take place on April 21.

On March 29, the Pakistani Election Commission announced that Aseefa Bhutto had emerged victorious as the MNA from NA-207, following the withdrawal of nomination papers from the remaining three candidates.

Shaheed Benazirabad (Nawabshah), which became vacant after her father Asif Ali Zardari was elected as Pakistan’s 14th President, was held by Aseefa Bhutto in the National Assembly.

In the initial round of nomination papers for the by-election, 11 candidates were confirmed by the Returning Officer. Only four nominees’ papers, including Aseefa Zardari, were accepted after careful examination, nevertheless.

In an effort to garner support for her brother Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, Aseefa led a number of rallies during the PPP’s strong involvement in the election campaign leading up to the general elections on February 8. At a PPP gathering in Multan on November 30, 2020, she made her political debut.

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