Pakistan Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf will announce on August 14 the roadmap for the next general elections likely to be held in the first week of November,months ahead of schedule,according to a media report on Monday.
The ruling Pakistan Peoples Party and the main opposition party PML-N held a meeting Sunday to discuss the upcoming general elections,Dawn News channel quoted sources as saying.
The premier will formally announce the roadmap for the polls on August 14,which is Pakistans Independence Day,the report said. The next general election was to be held in March next year,when the PPP-led government would have completed its five-year term. However,the PPP is under pressure from the Opposition to advance the polls in the wake of allegations of widespread corruption and poor governance.
The Opposition has also been emboldened by a standoff between the government and the Supreme Court,which has given the prime minister time till July 25 to approach Swiss authorities to reopen graft cases against President Asif Ali Zardari.
Ashrafs predecessor,Yousuf Raza Gilani,was convicted of contempt and disqualified by the apex court after he refused to revive the cases against Zardari.
During the meeting held on Sunday,the PPP and PML-N agreed that the prime minister,chief ministers,and other federal and provincial ministers in the caretaker set-up would be residents of Pakistan.
A seven-member PML-N team,including senior leaders Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan,Khwaja Asif and Ishaq Dar,and a five-member PPP team,including Khursheed Shah,Aitzaz Ahsan and presidential spokesman Farhatullah Babar,attended the meet. The PML-N and PPP agreed to frame a code of conduct for the elections. The meeting further decided that corruption cases will not be filed against any political leader till the polls end.
Burqa-clad militants storm police building in Pak,take hostages
Burqa-clad Taliban militants on Monday stormed a police station used by local intelligence personnel at Bannu in northwest Pakistan and took several hostages,before securitymen stormed the building to end the siege. Four Taliban fighters were killed and another captured following a heavy exchange of fire. The hostages were freed unharmed.