Pakistan Reader# 433, 29 November 2022
On 28 November, Fawad Chaudhary said that the senior leadership of the PTI has “approved” the decision to dissolve the Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assemblies and that the date of the dissolution would be announced after discussions with the government. Talking to the media, Chaudhary said that Imran Khan met with KP Chief Minister Mahmood Khan and is scheduled to meet Punjab CM Elahi on 29 November. He said that the process of allotting tickets has started, where 563 seats across the country would be “vacated” that elections would be held for them and that a meeting in KP has been called on 3 December.
Chaudhary reiterated that the assemblies will be “dissolved” and that the PTI would tender resignations in the Sindh and Balochistan provinces as well. Additionally, he said that the opposition would be “invited” to hold consultations with the government in both the provinces of Punjab and KP over the formation of an “interim government.” He pushed the government to announce a specific date for the general elections and said that PTI would “win for sure” while warning the government of retaliation through the dissolving of assemblies if the date is not announced. He said, “We are here to save Pakistan and we will save it.”
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) maintained its stance and said that the elections would be held within 60 days if mass resignations continue in the provincial assemblies of Punjab and KP. An ECP spokesperson said that elections will “only be carried out” in the seats of Punjab and KP and that it would be challenging for the commission to hold by-polls and general elections in the same year. Further, the spokesperson said that “We will hold the by-polls according to the law even if it will be difficult to do so.” The spokesperson said that the process would cost nearly PKR 22 billion amounting to PKR 50 and PKR 70 million for each constituency respectively.
On 29 November, the opposition parties in the KP Assembly made known that they would employ “all constitutional and legal means” to stop the dissolution of the provincial assembly. The agencies said that they have consented to block the decision of the dissolution and that discussions of a no-confidence motion against the chief minister, the governor’s rule ad the moving of the court to bar the PTI were made in the meeting. The PML-N said that Imran Khan is “desperate” to “push” the government to call for early elections and that the provincial assemblies would not be dissolved “as per the wishes of one person.” The PML-N said, “A resolution was adopted in the meeting vowing that the Punjab Assembly will complete its tenure, come what may.”
The MQM-P also agreed to fully support the PPP on the no-confidence motion of the opposition, with former president Asif Ali Zardari holding meetings with the MQMP and discussing “all possible cooperation” with the opposition to overturn the PTI’s decision to dissolve the assemblies. (Naveed Siddiqui, “PTI greenlights dissolution of Punjab, KP assemblies,” Dawn, 28 November 2022; Mansoor Malik, “PTI huddle resolves to dissolve Punjab, KP assemblies,” Dawn, 28 November 2022; “Opposition parties vow to ‘block’ provincial assembly’s dissolution in KP,” Dawn, 28 November 2022; Asim Yasin, “MQMP ‘agrees’ to back PPP over no-trust motion in Senate,” The News International, 28 November 2022; Iftikhar A Khan, “ECP bound to hold by-polls in case of PTI resignations, says official,” Dawn, 29 November 2022)