Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif stated on Wednesday that the current government’s tenure will culminate on August 14, 2023, and the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) will announce the date for the next elections.
The remarks from the premier comes a day after his meeting with the chief of the ruling alliance Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), Maulana Fazlur Rehman, wherein the latter stressed the need for dissolution of assemblies and holding of general elections on time.
It was also reported last week that meetings between PML-N and PPP bigwigs in the United Arab Emirates have purportedly resulted in a consensus on a number of issues, including names for the caretaker set-up and a power-sharing formula if the two parties win the next election.
However, days later the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) clarified that no “final decision” had been reached in the meetings held between the leadership of the ruling coalition parties abroad.
“All the news about reaching agreements during the meetings and subsequent differences are mere speculations,” PPP leader Shazia Marri had said during a Dawn News show.
During an address in Islamabad today, the PM addressed the prevailing uncertainty regarding the timing of the polls. He stated, “I assure you that our government will end on August 14, and whenever elections happen, the ECP will announce it, and I hope that whichever government comes prioritises education.”
The prime minister expressed his regret over the fact that neighbouring countries have made greater progress than Pakistan, mentioning a time when Pakistan used to compete with them.
He also expressed his disappointment that Pakistan was no longer in the race when it came to competing with its neighbours.
Nevertheless, the premier acknowledged that nations face difficulties, and he cited Germany and Japan as prime examples. He emphasised that these countries were devastated during World War II but managed to make remarkable comebacks.
He highlighted such examples as a source of hope, stating that the nation had the courage to prosper and rise.
The prime minister also spoke about how grateful he was to the countries allies, China has rolled over $5 billion in loans to Pakistan in the last three months “when we were in need.”
He further mentioned that Pakistan received $2bn from Saudi Arabia, adding Pakistan was expecting $1bn from the UAE in the coming days. The prime minister acknowledged that simply expressing gratitude to these countries was not enough.
However, he stressed that relying solely on financial assistance was not a sustainable approach and that education was the key to overcoming the current situation.