PML-N's Khawaja Asif optimistic about general elections in November
Says the process can be delayed for one or two months only and that too in exceptional circumstances
ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) – Defence Minister Khawaja Asif late on Monday said the general elections would be held in November, but he didn’t rule out the possibility of one-or-two-month delay in the process.
In an interview to a US TV channel, the defence minister said the National Assembly (NA) would be dissolved by August 9 evening after which it was mandatory under the constitutional arrangement to hold the elections within 90 days.
He told the foreign media outlet that Pakistan would have elections in November; however, the country’s top electoral body ECP could postpone the polls for one or two months in exceptional circumstances. The delay could not be more than that, Khawaja Asif made it clear.
Separately, the defence minister told local media persons that the elections should be held in a one month or two as no new delimitation was to be carried out.
Nawaz Sharif – the PML-N supremo – would return before the elections, Khawaja Asif said, echoing what Prime Minister Shehhaz Sharif had told a massive public gathering at Khudian Khas – a town in Kasur district which has remained a party stronghold even during turbulent times – the other day.
The defence minister said the PTI had pushed the country back to the political and economic crisis faced by the country 20 years ago. Change in the prime minister office was a basic ingredient of democracy, he added while citing the political changes in the United Kingdom as an example.
It is important to note that elections must be held within 60 days of dissolution of the National Assembly – or any other provincial legislature – if it completes the constitutional term. However, the period is extended to 90 days in case the prime minister [or the chief minister] decides to dissolve the assembly before the expiry date.