ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) supreme leader Nawaz Sharif has urged for early general elections while he discusses with the senior party leadership about quitting the government at the Centre, media reports said citing sources. This comes after Supreme Court declared Pervaiz Elahi as Punjab's Chief Minister in a recent verdict against the ruling of Punjab Assembly Deputy Speaker Dost Mohammed Mazari.
In a massive defeat of Hamza Shehbaz after the Punjab by-elections, the three-member Supreme Court bench, led by Chief Justice Atta Bandial and Justices Ijaz-ul-Ahsan and Muneeb Akhtar, removed Hamza Shehbaz as Punjab's chief minister. It has put up a new scenario for the party where it has power in the Centre but Punjab, which is often known as the battleground province for the Sharifs, will be now ruled by Pervaiz Elahi with help from Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).
Nawaz Sharif has discussed this several times with top leaders of the party including Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and also with the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM). He suggested that staying in the government any longer looked set to create more problems than resolving the issues in the absence of genuine support the government should have received from all state organs, said sources. They said PDM leaders, including Asif Ali Zardari and Maulana Fazlur Rehman, have so far resisted the idea of quitting the government but this comes as Supreme Court declared Pervaiz Elahi as Punjab's Chief Minister in a recent verdict against the ruling of Punjab Assembly Deputy Speaker Dost Mohammed Mazari.
Sources shared that Nawaz Sharif has told his party leaders about the option of quitting the government in the Centre, confirming that the likely date and time of October and November have been discussed at a great length and Nawaz Sharif, Shehbaz Sharif and the government stakeholders are aware of the nature of these discussions, The News International reported. The senior party leaders have discussed Nawaz Sharif's return to Pakistan before the next general elections and a message has been conveyed to him that his presence in Pakistan was necessary, the sources added.
Pakistan's President Arif Alvi in the wee hours of Wednesday at the Aiwan-e-Sadar administered the oath to Pervez Elahi as the new Chief Minister of Punjab. SC's three-member bench -- comprising Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Ijazul Ahsan, and Justice Muneeb Akhtar -- had initially ordered Punjab Governor Baligh ur Rehman to administer the oath to Elahi, however, he refused to perform his duties.
Notably, Hamza Shehbaz, son of Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, had defeated Pervez Elahi in the Punjab polls and Punjab Assembly Deputy Speaker Mazari had dismissed PML-Q's 10 votes after party head Chaudhry Shujaat urged them to vote in favour of Hamza. Earlier, the Pakistan Supreme Court had allowed Hamza Shahbaz to stay as a 'trustee' chief minister of Punjab till the court resumes hearing.