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LAHORE: Chief Minister of Pakistan’s Punjab province Shahbaz Sharif said yesterday that the Punjab Assembly would not be dissolved along with the other assemblies unless the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s demands on the caretaker set-up were met by the prime minister.
Following a meeting with Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf and the three other provincial chief ministers, Shahbaz announced at a news conference that he did not agree to dissolve the Punjab Assembly on March 19. The provincial legislature is scheduled to complete its term on April 9.
However, he added that the premier and the chief ministers, including him, had agreed to hold the upcoming general elections on time.
Shahbaz said he asked the prime minister to appoint a unanimous caretaker prime minister and chief ministers, who enjoyed the nation’s trust. He added that he also expressed concern over the government’s desire to appoint caretaker chief ministers of its own choice in Sindh and Balochistan.
Furthermore, Shahbaz said he has handed a list of demands to the premier. These included asking the government to hold talks with the PML-Functional-led opposition parties for caretaker chief minister in Sindh, instead of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, which recently joined the opposition in the province — a move that elicited scepticism within the PML-N.
The Punjab CM’s second demand was for the government to consult the PML-N and Baloch nationalists for a caretaker chief minister in Balochistan.