Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif will chair a meeting of leaders of the coalition government in Islamabad to “devise a future strategy for the government”, as the country faces a judicial crisis on top of long-ongoing economic and political crises. He will be discussing the “overall political situation of the country” during the meeting, which follows the Supreme Court’s pondering of the Electoral Commission of Pakistan’s decision to defer elections in Punjab by more than five months, and resignations by judges hearing petitions related to the delay. PTI Chairman Imran Khan has taken to Twitter to claim that the PML-N is looking to create a “1997-like situation” when its workers attacked the Supreme Court to pressurize the then Chief Justice hearing a contempt petition. Notably, he said he was ready to hold talks with parties that were ready to oppose the “conspiracy” against the Constitution and the court. The contentions center around Pakistan’s election date ruling, particularly in relation to holding elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa states. The elections were due to be held by 14 and 18 January in the respective states, but the governors have been advised to consult stakeholders before setting dates over complication surrounding insufficient police force, terrorism threats, funds and the absence of the army and civil armed forces. Subsequently, President Alvi had unilaterally announced 9 April as the date for holding general elections for the Punjab and KP assemblies.
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