PTI urges Governor to dissolve PA forthwith

From Abid Usman

LAHORE: PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry on Friday urged Governor Balighur Rehman to dissolve the Punjab Assembly (PA) forthwith instead of waiting for the 48-hour deadline to pass.
“We advise the governor to not wait 48 hours and to sign the summary already,” he said while speaking to the media outside former prime minister Imran Khan’s Zaman Park residence in Lahore.
The remarks come a day after Punjab Chief Minister Chaudhry Parvez Elahi, hours after regaining the confidence of a majority of lawmakers in PA, formally advised the governor to dissolve the provincial legislature.
The move capped weeks of speculation, legal wrangling and a public spectacle of the differences between the ruling allies in Punjab — the PTI and the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) — over whether the assembly would be disbanded or not.
During yesterday’s media talk, Fawad said contact was being initiated with Leader of the Opposition in the PA Hamza Shahbaz to begin discussions over the caretaker setup and that Elahi would be forwarding him a few names.
“We hope he (Elahi) sends the names of those who are able to carry out free and fair elections,” he said.
Fawad added that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan and his cabinet were scheduled to visit the PTI chairman but were unable to do so due to bad weather.
“We spoke to them on the phone,” he said. “They have prepared the advice to dissolve the KP assembly”.
He lambasted the ruling coalition government for “hiding their faces from the public”.
“All they do is run from elections. Democracy thrives on votes,” he said, adding that the government could not keep running away from polls. Meanwhile, Governor Balighur Rehman has said that the process for the dissolution of assembly would happen step by step, terming it to be a “lengthy process”.
Speaking at a ceremony in Lahore, he said that elections were bound to happen within 90 days of the assembly’s dis-solution but noted that it would be Ramazan at that time.

“If we schedule the by-polls earlier, we won’t have enough time for preparations,” he said.

He added that the opposition leader in the PA would need to be consulted regarding the caretaker setup, adding that this process also “requires time”.
On Thursday evening, confusion abounded as the Elahi’s supposed one-line advice to the governor — written on a plain piece of paper — was circulated on social media with the date apparently having been overwritten.

However, over an hour later, a ‘genuine’ copy of the document (on the chief minister’s official letterhead) was shared by his son, PML-Q leader Moonis Elahi from his Twitter handle with the caption: “Promise fulfilled,” and addressing PTI chief Imran Khan, he wished: “May we see you back in PM seat soon.”
Meanwhile, the Governor House received the Punjab Assembly dissolution advice in a sealed envelope shortly after 10pm, as was confirmed by the governor himself in a tweet.