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Will Khan Succeed in Early Elections in Pak?

Pakistan Tehreek Insaaf (PTI) strategy for dissolution of the provincial assemblies of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtoonwa appears to have got the first positive outcome with the Chief Minister of Punjab Mr Pervez Elahi announcing the same.

Pakistan's former Prime Minister Imran Khan announced the intent to dissolve the provincial assemblies of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa where his party is in power last year on December 23.

This was seen as another attempt by the opposition to pressure the government to hold elections to the National Assembly which will be do by July this year.

The government attempted to subvert this attempt by raising a no confidence motion in the Punjab Assembly against the Chief Minister which however failed and as a result Mr Elahi sought to move ahead with the dissolution of the assembly as desired by Mr Khan even though he was not fully in favour of the same. The provincial chief minister took the confidence vote after the Lahore High Court (LHC) ruled that the governor had the authority to ask the chief minister to seek the trust of the house even during an ongoing session.

The political turmoil in Punjab heightened last month when the ruling coalition in the centre decided to remove CM Elahi in a bid to stop the dissolution of the assembly.

Thus the governor of Punjab who is a member of the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz ordered the CM to take a vote of confidence at 4pm on December 21.But Punjab Assembly Speaker Sibtain — a PTI leader — termed the order against the Constitution and adjourned an ongoing session which was resumed after the court order. Apparently the opposition in Punjab and the ruling coalition in Islamabad failed to win over members supporting CM Elahi.

Speaker Sibtain Khan, who presided the session, said that Elahi had received 186 votes — exactly the number required to retain his position and one less than 187 that PTI leaders had claimed to have prior to voting as per the Dawn News.

It now remains to be seen how the federal government and the Election Commission of Pakistan [ECP] react to these developments as the Khyber Pakhtoonwa government may also follow the suit of Punjab shortly.

And then the hidden hand of the Pakistan Army seems to be lying overtly fallow though what lies underneath remains to be seen as General Asim Munir the new Army Chief appears to be still getting the grips of his new role.


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