ISLAMABAD: The prime minister's scheduled speech to the nation tonight was cancelled hours after sources within Pakistan Television (PTV) said Nawaz Sharif would address the political and security situation in the country.
Sources at Pakistan's state-run TV channel had earlier confirmed that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif would address the nation at 8pm regarding the country's ongoing political situation. A spokesperson for the prime minister later informed journalists that new reports of the PM's address were "incorrect".
However, state-run Radio Pakistan's website also posted the news of the PM's speech, removing it within an hour.
PM's spokesman Mussadiq Malik told Dawn.com, "A meeting was taking place regarding the prime minister's address to the nation, during which a bureaucrat informed PTV to be prepared for the address." The decision was later revoked.
The spokesperson also said that while a decision had been taken to make a speech, a time could not be set, leading to the cancellation of the PM's address.
"The prime minister wants to take the entire nation into confidence on all national and political matters," the PM's spokesperson. He added that the prime minister is leaving for the SAARC conference tomorrow (Tuesday), and that the broadcast of an address will be decided later.
PTV sources said the schedule had been set for the prime minister to record his speech at three time slots this afternoon. The premier was expected to address the allegations leveled by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan, and also apprise the nation regarding the government's plans for the country's development.
The premier’s last address to the nation was on August 12, 2014 where he had requested that a Supreme Court commission investigate alleged irregularities in the 2013 general elections.
The appeal had come just two days before the launch of massive anti-government marches led by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) chief Tahirul Qadri - both of whom have agreed on an agenda aimed at introducing, "true participatory democracy" based on alleged rigging in the elections.